The UN Security Council has authorized a foreign mission to combat gangs in Haiti, writes Reuters.
Thirteen members of the Security Council voted in favor of sending a “multinational security support mission” authorized to take “all necessary measures.” Russia and China abstained from voting.
Haiti asked the UN for help a year ago. All this time, no country agreed to lead the mission. Just in July, Kenya promised to send 1,000 police officers to Haiti. Then the Bahamas agreed to provide 150 people to ensure the security of Haiti. Later, Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda volunteered to help.
The US will not send troops, but plans to provide the mission with $100 million in logistics and financial assistance, which could include intelligence, airlift, communications and medical support.
The timing of the mission’s deployment is still unclear.
Gangs in Haiti have become more powerful since the assassination of the country’s President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. Now, according to a recent report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, they control 80% of the capital and operate beyond its borders. There were cases when gangs attacked entire neighborhoods, fired indiscriminately there, “burned people alive and executed those they considered their opponents.”
According to Guterres’ report, from October 2022 to June 2023, there were 2,728 intentional killings in Haiti, including women and children. During the same time, 452 cases of rape of women, girls and one boy became known, including group rape, which rival gangs use “to intimidate the population.”
Haitian gangs also kidnap residents for ransom. According to Guterres, almost 130 thousand people were forced to leave their homes due to gang activity.