On Wednesday, Helen La Lime, the director of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), warned that the help Haitian Police receives from the international community is insufficient to fight increasing gang violence.
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“It is time to look at new partnerships,” La Lime stated, calling for a specialized foreign force deployment to counteract the Haitian security crisis.
Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, gang violence has severely increased in Haiti. Currently, armed groups control about 60 percent of Port-au-Prince, where they have pillaged neighborhoods, raped adults and children, and kidnapped hundreds of people, including some U.S. missionaries.
“The worsening security situation on the ground has reached its peak. Armed gangs now roam the country unfettered,” Haitian Foreign Affairs Minister Victor Geneus said.
To counteract this situation, Haitian authorities have repeatedly sought help from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the U.S., and Canada, which has instead implemented sanctions.
“These measures target Haitian elite families that are so responsible not just for funding gangs, but for destabilizing the national politics and economy at the terrible cost for the people,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged, stressing that previous outside intervention has not created long-term stability for Haiti.
“We need to make the Haitian people themselves capable of building strong opportunities and strong democracy for them,” Trudeau said.
Haiti, however, does not count with the means to resolve the crisis, since the Police has only 9,000 active duty officers and the country’s population is about 11 million, Geneus said.
“Nothing is going to move unless the situation on the ground changes. Without more international security assistance, Haitian authorities will not resolve this crisis,” La Lime stated.