The Prime Minister of Haiti has urgently requested the deployment of a multinational force to suppress the rampant gang violence in the country.
Militant factions hold power in sections of the capital city, Port-au-Prince, and certain villages, obstructing transportation routes, displacing residents, and causing schools, hospitals, and businesses to shut down.
Lives in danger
He stated that they have committed a list of violations and crimes, including massacres, kidnappings, pillaging, sexual violence, human trafficking, and child recruitment, which is not exhaustive.
The level of insecurity has escalated in the past few weeks, resulting in a fresh humanitarian emergency. Over 16,500 people have been forced to leave their homes and are now seeking refuge in 25 schools in the capital.
According to Mr. Henry, communicating through an interpreter, the everyday existence of the Haitian population is incredibly challenging.
Therefore, the United Nations Security Council, possessing the required power and authority outlined in Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, must promptly authorize the implementation of a multinational support mission in order to strengthen security in Haiti.
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The suggested measure would aid the Haitian National Police in combating gangs and reinstating peace and stability.
He praised nations and groups that have shown dedication and support, specifically highlighting Kenya for volunteering to spearhead the initiative, as well as the regional coalition, CARICOM.
Mr. Henry stated that the implementation of force is the initial and crucial step in reestablishing a functional environment for the State.
He stressed the importance of addressing both social and economic development in order to find a resolution to the severe poverty that lies at the core of Haiti’s numerous challenges.
The country in the Caribbean that borders the Dominican Republic has faced significant challenges in recent times, such as three seismic events, hurricanes, and the murder of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.
After that, Mr. Henry has been acting as the temporary leader of Haiti, a country where around 50% of the population lives in poverty and almost five million people struggle to access food.
He stated that the disparity in resources caused by social inequalities has resulted in a significant divide between the impoverished majority and the wealthy minority who possesses 90 percent of the country’s wealth. This gap, coupled with high levels of poverty and unemployment, creates ideal conditions for gang recruitment.
Mr. Henry urged Haitians both within the country and abroad to collaborate with the government in addressing gang violence, restoring safety, and pursuing political power through democratic means.
He stated that even with the current state of the country, the transitional government remains committed to conducting elections as soon as feasible.
The Prime Minister spoke about the developing issue between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as the former has shut down its borders due to a disagreement over building a canal on the Dajabón or Massacre River.
“I want to make it clear that Haiti is not currently engaged in any conflicts,” he stated. “Haitians are known for their generosity and have always demonstrated solidarity. We believe in open communication and the equitable distribution of resources while showing mutual respect.”
The complete statement is accessible in French here.