Haiti: UN sounds alarm over worsening gang violence across Port-au-Prince |
The warning came just hours after UN humanitarians say they are ready to provide all the help they can to communities affected by gang violence, once they can safely reach those affected.
A recent outbreak of fighting between rival gangs in The capital’s Cité Soleil neighborhood, which led to the death of 99 people with 135 injured according to data reported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) In Haiti.
Encouraged: Security Council unanimously expanded @BINUH_UN in a year. I urge Haiti’s leaders to heed the Council’s call for a political process leading to transparent, inclusive elections in due time. Haitians also need immediate relief from gang violence and crime.
– Rosemary A. DiCarlo (@DicarloRosemary) July 15, 2022
On Friday night, Security Council provided a boost to UN operations in the Caribbean island nation, which was in crisis by extend the mandate of the United Nations Office in Haiti, by one yearthrough 2645 resolution.
Strengthen supervision of rights
Jeremy Laurence, Spokesperson for OHCHRurges the authorities in Haiti to ensure fundamental rights are protected, and “put first and center in their responses to the crisis. The fight against sexual violence and punishment, along with increased human rights monitoring and reporting, must remain a priority.“, I said.
“We have recorded so far, from From January to the end of June, 934 murders, 684 injuries and 680 kidnappings across the capital. Over a five-day period, from July 8 to 12, at least 234 more people were killed or injured in incidents of gang-related violence in the Cité Soleil area of the city.
“Most of the victims are not directly involved in the gangs and are the direct targets of the gang elements. We have also received new reports of sexual violence.”
OHCHR is calling on gang members and supporters of violence to immediately stop their activities, which are affecting many of the most vulnerable citizens living in extreme poverty.
“The Armed gangs are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their actions, conducting simultaneous, coordinated and organized attacks in different regions,” said Laurence. “The right to life is a sovereign right under international human rights law and the State has an obligation to protect that right, including threats from private individuals and organisations.”
Food and drink refused
Some gangs are using extreme tactics to control locals, such as denying them access to drinking water and food. This simply makes malnutrition worse.
The violence has also exacerbated fuel shortages, as the main fuel depot is located in Cité Soleil, and transportation costs have risen sharply.
For months now, the desperate socio-economic situation, coupled with the political deadlock, has fueled street protests, added to a dire security situation, and many residents and businesses have had to closed indoors out of fear, OHCHR said.
OHCHR welcomes the extension BINUHmission of, “this will further promote the general international response to the ongoing human rights crisis in the country and support the flow of humanitarian assistance. “
Cité Soleil, with a population of about 300,000, is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Haitian capital, where gangs have gained more influence over the past few years.
OCHA says that “a a large part of the population is trapped in the Cité Soleil as gangs try to exert their influence,” adding that “people in some areas have not had access to food or water since July 8.” One in five children suffering from severe malnutrition “above the emergency threshold”.
“As people continue to suffer in Cité Soleil, the insecurity is preventing humanitarian services,” said Ulrika Richardson, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and the organization’s senior humanitarian official in Haiti. humanitarian agencies into the area.
“The United Nations stands ready to assist the many children, women and men affected by gang violence as soon as humanitarian partners are able to reach the affected areas.”
© IOM Haiti / Monica Chiriac