The UN Security Council yesterday adjourned a hearing on Haiti after the country requested urgent international support to fight gangs which have created havoc and plunged the country into a more profound humanitarian crisis. “The people of Haiti are not living; they are surviving,” Haiti Foreign Minister Jean Victor Geneus told the council.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, championed the “carefully scoped non-UN mission led by a partner country with the deep and necessary experience required for such an effort to be effective.”
The least US individuals already imposed on visa sanctions against at 11 Haitian October 13, following weeks of increased violence, in a move that Washington could support Haitian authorities’ efforts to combat gangs and public unrest.
According to US Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols, who led an interagency delegation in Haiti this month, “the burgeoning cholera outbreak, gang blockade of ports, and fuel crisis” have exacerbated Haiti’s “humanitarian and security situation.”
This has led the US to promise support for the Haitian police force amid the new wave of incidents.
On October 14, President Joe Biden’s administration drafted a Security Council resolution encouraging the “immediate deployment of a multinational rapid action force,” although the text does not make clear which nations would participate in said effort, the Miami Herald reported.
Yesterday, the UN Security Council brought forward a meeting to discuss the matter, with Mexico showing support for the US proposal. Meanwhile, foreign countries with veto power, such as Russia and China, signaled more skepticism about intervention.
The news came a few days after the United Nations reported a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the impoverished Caribbean nation. The organization even called for the opening of a “humanitarian corridor” due to gang activities.
An October draft resolution showed that the UN is considering imposing asset freezes, travel bans, and gun embargoes to target Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, known as the top Haitian gang boss but also seen by others as a revolutionary leader.
The Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation is engulfed by a never-ending general crisis that affects almost all sectors, aggravated by regular climate disasters and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, a crime whose suspects include some of Haiti’s current authorities.