– UN chief wants an international force in Haiti soon
The UN, like Haitian officials, has been calling for months for international intervention to support local police to fight the gangs.
The UN has called for an “emergency” deployment to Haiti of an international force of “police” and “soldiers” to fight armed gangs in the Caribbean nation. President Antonio Guterres made the call, according to a letter released Wednesday to the Security Council.
“I continue to call on member states to deploy a non-UN multinational force consisting of special police forces supported by military units provided by one or more countries that may cooperate with the Haitian government. The Security Council,” Antonio Guterres writes in a 12-page letter dated Monday, which was consulted by AFP without being made public.
“To address the security situation in Haiti, law enforcement must take a number of compelling measures, including the effective use of force in targeted police operations against heavily armed gangs,” argues the UN Secretary-General.
Antonio Guterres and Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henri have been calling for months for international intervention to support local police. Gangs control 80% of the capital Port-au-Prince and murder, rape, kidnapping for ransom and armed robbery are daily occurrences.
At the end of July, Kenya announced that it was ready to lead this multinational force and send 1,000 police officers to “train and assist the Haitian police, restore normalcy in the country, and protect strategic installations.” However, even if this international force is not deployed under the UN flag, a proposal requires the Security Council’s green light.
After the Kenyan announcement, the US, which chairs the Security Council in August, pledged to release the evidence two weeks ago. Before the council.
In his letter, Antonio Guterres welcomed Nairobi’s initiative for the force, which Haiti “urgently needs,” and the support expressed by several Caribbean states: the Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda. “We hope other countries will come forward (…) and the Security Council will move forward according to the recommendations of the Secretary-General,” his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq insisted on Wednesday.