Police outnumbered, development stalled, as gang violence increases in Haiti

“The achievements of the restoration of years of arduous struggle are being undone, and the Haitian people are grappling with getting the country back on the path to democracy,” he said. speak Helen La Lime, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Haiti.

turf war

Briefing the 15-member Council, Ms. La Lime said more than 2,100 murders and around 1,300 kidnappings had been reported in 2022, and that overall gang violence had reached unprecedented levels. for many decades.

Territorial wars involving two gang alliances, namely the G9 and G-Pep alliances, have reached unprecedented levels in several neighborhoods of Cité Soleil.

“This violence is part of well-defined strategies to subjugate populations and expand control over territory, and invokes the intentional killing of men, women and children,” she said. by snipers stationed on the roofs.

Brutal Tactics

Dozens of women and children as young as 10 have also been brutally raped as a tactic to sow fear and destroy the social fabric of communities under the control of rival gangs.

In addition, she said, gangs are encircling and displacing entire populations already living in extreme poverty, by deliberately blocking access to food, water and – amid the pandemic. outbreaks – health services.

Nearly five million people face severe hunger across Haiti, and while most schools are now operating, thousands of children, especially those living in gang-affected areas , has not yet started the school year.

Support ‘not yet realized’

Against this backdrop, the Special Representative reiterated the call for the deployment of an international task force to assist the Haitian National Police (HNP).

That force was first requested by the Government in October, but has yet to materialize.

“The people of Haiti desperately want this support so that they can continue their daily lives in peace,” she said.

in one December briefing arrive Security CouncilMs. La Lime emphasized that, despite the Government’s investment, HNP “continues to lack resources and is ill-equipped to tackle the volume of tasks ahead.”

Sanctions for spoilers

However, the Special Representative welcomed the Council’s adoption new punishment regime on those who support criminal activities and armed group violence in the country, as well as new bilateral sanctions.

She also praised the growing progress in holding important elections in February 2024.

“[Haiti] “We urgently need to see those in positions of influence and leadership – whether at the national or local level, and including the diaspora – put aside their differences,” she said. aside and do its part to restore legitimate state institutions”.


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