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UN pushes for troop deployment to Haiti — RT World News


Washington has shown little interest in a security mission to quell violent unrest in the Caribbean nation

The United Nations has called for an international military deployment in Haiti, insisting that a presence of foreign troops is needed to maintain order and combat rampant gang violence. The country has seen significant unrest since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, including a major spike in violent crime.

Addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, UN special envoy to Haiti Helen La Lime warned that gang-related violence has “has reached levels not seen for decades”, saying that although Haiti has made positive steps in recent months, these gains “remain fragile and vulnerable to inversion” without foreign intervention.

“Haitians overwhelmingly want this aid so they can go about their daily lives in peace. The population lives in fear and is only too aware of the limits of the police force,” she added.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry first proposed a security mission last October, calling for “the immediate deployment of a specialized armed force” to take “armed bands”. At the time, criminal groups were helping organize chaotic protests that effectively shut down some of Haiti’s major ports, leading to shortages of essential goods such as water and fuel. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres later echoed the government’s call, although it appeared to have fallen on deaf ears.

While Washington recently agreed to sell a number of armored vehicles to the Haitian National Police for “counter gang violence and restore stability”, and himself suggested a “limit” deployment of troops, President Joe Biden was hesitant to take this step.

During Tuesday’s Security Council meeting, US deputy envoy to the UN Robert Wood acknowledged that “Haiti must address its persistent insecurity challenges”, but refrained from approving a security mission. Instead, he said Washington would recommend UN sanctions to “additional targets implicated in the unrest in Haiti”, which would build on a previous round of sanctions imposed last October.

In addition to an upsurge in gang activity, Haiti is also facing a major political crisis following the assassination of President Moise in July 2021. The terms of all elected officials expired on January 9 and there are no currently has no concrete date for the next elections.

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Under a plan signed by a number of influential political and business leaders last December, the government will aim to hold the next elections before February 2024. However, Haiti’s ambassador to the UN, Antonio Rodrigue, warned the plan could be moot without help from outside powers, saying an overseas deployment is “an imperative right now.”

“Without security, we cannot have fair, transparent and democratic elections or restore the normal functioning of institutions in the country”, he said. “If we overcome the gangs, we will restore order and peace… We cannot wait, and the security situation could worsen any day.

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