UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United Nations human rights office on Saturday expressed concern over rising violence around the Haitian capital, saying 99 people were reportedly killed in recent fighting between rival gangs in the only district of Cité Soleil.
The warning came hours after the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution renewing the mandate of a UN office in the troubled Caribbean nation and calling on all countries to stop the transfer of small arms and light weapons and ammunition to anyone who supports gang violence and crime there. activity.
United Nations humanitarian agencies have said they stand ready to help beleaguered communities once it is safe to do so, and Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, exposed these dangers.
“We have so far documented, from January to the end of June, 934 murders, 684 injuries and 680 kidnappings across the capital,” he said on Saturday. Additionally, “over a five-day period, July 8-12, at least 234 additional people were killed or injured in gang-related violence in the city’s Cité Soleil neighborhood.”
He said most of the victims “were not directly involved with gangs” but were targeted by them.
Separately, the UN’s humanitarian affairs office reported that 99 of recent casualties in Cité Soleil were dead.
Laurence called on the gangs to end the violence, while urging Haitian authorities to ensure that fundamental human rights are “placed front and center in their responses to the crisis.” Combating impunity and sexual violence, as well as strengthening human rights monitoring and reporting, must remain a priority,” he said.
The Security Council resolution drafted by the United States and Mexico was approved 15-0 on Friday. He demanded an immediate cessation of gang violence and criminal activity – a point underscored by China.
“Heavily armed gangs are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their actions, carrying out simultaneous, coordinated and organized attacks in different areas,” Laurence said.
The government, he said, has a duty to protect citizens’ right to life, even against threats from private entities.
UN agencies said some gangs were even denying access to clean water and food in order to control the population, worsening malnutrition.
US Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills said the new resolution will allow the UN mission to promote political dialogue and build the capacity of the Haitian National Police to control gang violence and protect human rights.
A year after the unsolved assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, gang violence has escalated and many Haitians have tried to flee a country that appears to be in economic and social freefall. Attempts to form a coalition government have failed and efforts to hold general elections have stalled.
The United Nations has been involved in Haiti on and off since 1990, and the last United Nations peacekeeping mission was in the country from 2004 to October 2017. The political mission currently there advises the Haitian government. on the promotion of political stability and good governance.
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