UN human rights chief calls for special forces to Haiti


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The United Nations’ head of human rights on Friday called on the international community to consider deploying a specialized armed force to Haiti, warning that gangs Violence is creating a “living nightmare” for thousands of people.

The appeal from United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk comes after a two-day visit to Haiti at the request of a government unable to control gangs that are increasingly killing, raping and looting in the country. neighboring areas. Violence has increased in the impoverished country since then. assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.

“It is time for the international community to help the Haitian government regain full control so that it can end this suffering,” said Türk.

He added that as many crises around the world are vying for attention, he is concerned that “the situation in Haiti is not getting the urgent attention it deserves”.

Hours later, at a meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington, the US government said it continued discussions with its international partners about the possibility of sending a multinational force consisting mainly of is the police.

Francisco Mora, US Ambassador to OAS, added that the US is still working with other countries on a framework for the purpose of providing security and stability, and that the US will also take measures soon. sanctions and new visa restrictions.

Mora spoke after Haitian Foreign Minister Jean Victor Généus asked for a dedicated international force “to be allowed to stand with us.”

“There is a deep crisis in the country that is calling for humanitarian aid,” he said.

The plea came as the United Nations General Office in Haiti released a 24-page report on what it described as mass murders, gang rapes and sniper attacks in Cite. Soleil, Haiti’s largest slum. It is located in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Turk said: “The findings of this report are appalling. “It paints a picture of how people have been harassed and terrorized by criminal gangs for months that the state has not been able to stop.”

The report said that between July 8 and December 31, at least 263 people were killed and at least 57 women and girls raped in just one neighborhood in Cite Soleil known as Brooklyn. That area became the scene of intense fighting between the warring gangs.

During that time, the report said, residents lived in “an atmosphere of near-permanent terror resulting from the use of snipers who randomly killed anyone who came across their line of sight.” “.

Officials added that snipers would stand on schools and other buildings during the day to attack innocent people, with an average of six people killed or injured each week. Among the targets were at least 17 women and several children, the youngest just eight years old.

Gang members also broke into homes in rival territory, killing at least 95 people this way, including six children, one of whom was as young as two years old, the report said. Those who tried to flee the violence were killed at makeshift checkpoints.

“It is important to emphasize… that these violence and abuses are not committed by accident but are motivated by the interests of political actors in controlling territories,” the report said. know.

Officials note that three men were killed by a gang leader because they talked about the possibility of foreign military intervention, which Prime Minister Ariel Henry urgently requested in October but did not have. The results came amid a siege of a fuel station that closed gas stations and paralyzed life in Haiti.

The report blamed the violence on at least eight gangs, including Haiti’s largest – the G9 Family and Allies, a gang union led by former police officer Jimmy Chérizier. It has been accused of blocking access to food and drinking water in part by damaging public water pipes and threatening to kill water truck drivers if they traveled to certain neighborhoods.

The result is, The first cholera death in nearly three years was recorded in October 2022 in the Brooklyn neighborhoodofficials said.

In a recent time Interviewed with the Associated Press, Chérizier denied the allegationssaid he was simply waging a “social war”.

The report said the gangs that went to war used weapons including assault rifles smuggled into Haiti and even relied on motorboats to attack opponents. The wave of violence has forced tens of thousands of Haitians to flee their homes after their homes were razed or set on fire, the report said.

The United Nations office urged local officials to hold elections, provide more training and equipment to a severely understaffed police department, and arrest those responsible for “violations.” serious human rights”.

It also once again calls on the international community to urgently consider the deployment of foreign troops.

“The issues are very broad and inclusive,” says Türk. “They need the attention of the international community.”

Coto reports from San Juan, Puerto Rico.


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