Government of Haiti “urgently” requests international help against gangs

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Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry urged the UN Security Council this Friday to "urgently" authorize the sending of an international force to help fight criminal gangs in their country.

The daily life of the Haitian people is difficult, which is why the Security Council (...) must act urgently by authorizing the deployment of a multinational police and military mission to support security," Prime Minister Ariel Henry urged in the Assembly. General of the UN, almost a year after he first called for such an intervention.

Gang violence in Haiti, which controls and imposes terror in most of this poor country, has left more than 2,400 dead since the beginning of the year, according to the UN.

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The United States had announced shortly before that between "10 and 12 countries" made concrete offers for this mission that aims to help the Haitian police.

Washington will contribute with logistical support, said the assistant secretary of the State Department, Victoria Nuland, at the end of a ministerial meeting held in New York to discuss the Caribbean country.

The US official did not reveal the countries that are willing to participate, although Jamaica, Bahamas and Antigua and Barbudas made it known that they will do so.

Kenya, which is set to lead the force, is willing to contribute 1,000 security force members.

Representatives from Kenya, France, Ecuador, Canada and Caribbean countries participated in the meeting.

The United States intends to provide logistical support, such as air transportation, communications, accommodation and doctors, although in principle it will not contribute personnel.

"A few months"

"This support mission will not replace progress in the political field," declared the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, when opening the meeting in the presence of the Haitian prime minister.

"It can help create an enabling space for Haiti to move forward," he said. Blinken, who hopes that the force can be realized "in a few months" since "there is no time to waste."

The Secretary of State also announced that Joe Biden's government is going to ask Congress for $100 million to finance the operation, aimed at supporting the Haitian police to combat gangs.

All that is missing is the green light from the UN Security Council for its implementation, despite the fact that it will not be under the aegis of the organization, as it is not a peacekeeping mission.

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, said this week in the General Assembly that:

"He hopes that the members of the Security Council do not use Haiti as a pawn, since (Haitians) have suffered for too long at the hands of too many countries," without offering further details.

The draft resolution promoted by the United States and Ecuador must be concluded next week at the UN, Nuland said, according to which the text has "strong support."

On the UN platform on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden urged the Security Council to "authorise" the sending of a multinational force to Haiti. The Haitian people "cannot wait any longer," he said.

His Kenyan counterpart William Ruto also pressed on Thursday, saying the Haitian population, terrorized by gang violence, cannot be abandoned.

For almost a year, the Haitian prime minister, very politically weakened since no elections have been held in the country since 2016demands the sending of a force of this type.

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This Friday he met with the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, who insisted on the need to achieve in parallel a "global political agreement" to hold elections.

The international community, scalded by past experiences and the risks of being trapped in a hornet's nest, has not yet mobilized.

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With information from AFP.


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