UN security council urges support for Haiti police amidst escalating crises


In response to the deepening crises in Haiti, the UN Security Council issued an appeal on Friday, calling on the international community to provide support to the country’s police force. However, the Council fell short of taking immediate action to establish an international intervention force, a measure urgently sought by Haiti.

Haiti, known as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, is grappling with a compounding series of humanitarian, political, and security challenges. The capital city is largely under the control of gangs, who subject the population to a reign of terror through kidnappings, rape, and murder.

The resolution adopted unanimously by the Security Council encourages member states to extend security support to the Haitian National Police, which may include deploying a specialized force. Nevertheless, the resolution, which primarily focuses on extending the mandate of the UN political mission to Haiti (BINUH) for one year, does not outline any specific plans for the establishment of such a force.

The 15 member states have requested Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to submit a report within 30 days outlining various options for enhancing security, particularly in combating arms trafficking, providing police training, and bolstering the potential for a non-UN multinational force or a peacekeeping operation.

Both Guterres and Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, have been calling for an international force to help quell the escalating violence. However, thus far, no country has come forward to lead the operation, resulting in a lack of significant action being taken.

In a report on Friday, Guterres highlighted that violence in Haiti continues to escalate and spread. The report documented an increase of 67.5 percent in homicides between January and June compared to the second half of 2022. It revealed gruesome details, including beheadings of some victims. The situation has compelled Haitians to take matters into their own hands, leading to the emergence of the “Bwa Kale” self-defense movement, which has gained momentum nationwide.

During the period from late April to late June, vigilante groups reportedly killed at least 224 suspected gang members, often resorting to acts of brutality such as stoning, mutilation, and burning individuals alive in the presence of passive police officers.

However, while some members of the Security Council, notably the United States, have expressed support for a potential international intervention, consensus on the matter remains elusive. China’s Deputy UN envoy, Geng Shuang, emphasized that past experiences in Haiti have demonstrated the limitations of external quick-fix solutions, urging the UN to learn from previous failures before proceeding. He emphasized the importance of halting the flow of weapons to gangs, advocating for a broad arms embargo.

The Security Council resolution reiterated the call on member states to prevent the transfer of small arms to these criminal organizations. While Haitian Ambassador Antonio Rodrigue acknowledged that Friday’s resolution represents a step in the right direction, he underscored that it does not adequately address the security challenge. Rodrigue expressed disappointment on behalf of the population, emphasizing the urgent need for a concrete decision on the deployment of an international force, which has yet to materialize.

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