Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Gang crime in Haiti increases despite sanctions: UN

29 Sep 2023, 06:05 GMT+10

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Deadly gang-related violence in Haiti not only continues but is escalating, particularly rape and other sexual crimes, despite sanctions imposed on gang leaders, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the UN chief reported conditions in the Caribbean nation in his latest report, mandated by the Security Council in October 2022 when it imposed sanctions against gang leaders and their enablers that include assets freeze, a travel ban and blocking the import of arms.

"Gang-related violence has continued to escalate and to spread, exposing the Haitian population to extreme and systematic violence," Dujarric said. "Rape and other acts of sexual violence are pervasive."

The spokesman said while 80 percent of criminal acts reported to the national police were committed in the Port-au-Prince area, gang activities expanded to other regions, particularly in the Artibonite Valley, Gonaives and Cap-Haitien.

He said that since the Security Council imposed sanctions, nearly 2,800 homicides and almost 1,500 kidnappings for ransom were reported. The judiciary, national police and the corrections service took steps to address the situation but remain ill-equipped to re-establish the rule of law.

Guterres long sought the establishment of a multinational force to help Haitian police. It would be composed of police from several nations, not under a UN command, but would be approved by the Security Council. Kenya volunteered 1,000 police officers, and other countries have begun offering contingents.

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