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Home World News Washington Post World News UN votes on suffocation of gang small arms in Haiti

UN votes on suffocation of gang small arms in Haiti

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UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council on Friday voted on a resolution calling on all countries to stop the transfer of small arms, light weapons and ammunition to all parties supporting gang violence and criminal activity in Haiti, where bloodshed has increased. and kidnappings.

The United States and Mexico draft does not authorize an arms embargo as China has wanted. Other councilors said an embargo would be unenforceable.

It does demand an immediate end to gang violence and criminal activity, as China wanted. It would also express the council’s willingness to impose sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes “if necessary” to individuals involved in or supporting gang violence, criminal activity or human rights violations in Haiti within 90 days of adoption. of the resolution. That language is weaker than China’s proposal, which called for action within 30 days.

Negotiations for a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN political mission in Haiti went back and forth. The previous authorization from the municipality for the mission expires on Friday.

The US-Mexican draft calls for an extension of the mission, known as BINUH, to July 15, 2023. China wanted an extension to October 15, 2023.

The draft, submitted in final form at the end of Thursday, makes no mention of China’s call for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to talk with various parties about the possible creation of “a multinational police unit” to assist the Haitian police in tackling gang violence. Instead, the US-Mexican draft would ask Guterres to consult with the Haitian government, “relevant countries” and regional organizations about “possible options for increased security support…to combat the high levels of gang violence” and to submit an agreement by October 15. report.

The original draft between the US and Mexico called for the UN mission to be reinforced with up to 42 advisers from the police and correction departments, led by a UN police commissioner, and staff to ensure that sexual and gender-based violence is addressed. , and that remains in the final text.

When the current resolution extending the UN mission was passed in October, Haiti suffered from the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last July, an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale that killed more than 2,200 people in August. , and escalating gang-related murders, kidnappings, and turf wars.

A year after Moise’s murder, gang violence is worse and Haiti is in a free fall, causing the economy to collapse and many Haitians to flee the country to escape the unrest. At the same time, attempts to form a coalition government have failed and efforts to hold general elections have stalled.

This week, officials in Haiti’s capital reported that dozens of people had died as a result of days-long fighting between rival gangs in the violent Cite Soleil neighborhood. Doctors Without Borders said thousands of people were trapped in the district without drinking water, food and medical care.

The resolution to be voted on expresses “great concern about the extremely high levels of gang violence and other criminal activity, including kidnapping and murder, and sexual and gender-based violence, as well as the continued impunity for perpetrators, and the implications of the situation in Haiti in the region.”

It notes with deep concern the ongoing and worsening political, economic, security, human rights and food security crisis in Haiti.

The draft urges the government to strengthen the rule of law, address social and economic problems, initiate violence reduction programs, emphasizing the need to address sexual violence and manage weapons and ammunition. It also calls for urgent action to address the illicit trade and misuse of weapons and illicit financial flows.

With the end of the mandate for the UN’s political mission in sight, the 15 councilors this week bickered over the wording of the new resolution needed to expand the mission. The US and Mexico drafted the original proposal and China offered revisions Thursday, backed by ally Russia.

A spokesman for China’s UN mission reiterated Friday that if the Security Council negotiates gang violence escalates and an arms embargo on criminal gangs is “the minimum” the council should do in response to the dire situation in Haiti.

“Anything that does not comply will not only disappoint the Haitian people, but also represent a missed opportunity for the Security Council,” said the spokesman, who commented only on condition of anonymity.

A spokesman for Russia’s UN mission said that “taking into account the situation in Haiti, we believe we should be given the opportunity to make changes to the mission’s mandate.”

The United Nations has been involved in Haiti occasionally since 1990, and the last UN peacekeeping mission was in the country from 2004 to October 2017. The political mission there now advises the government of Haiti on “promoting and strengthening political stability and good governance”. including implementation of the rule of law, inclusive national dialogue and protection and protection of human rights.



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