Haiti: UN peacekeeper shot in leg as violence continues in capital city

25 August 2005

A United Nations peacekeeper in Haiti was shot in the leg and seriously wounded when his patrol came under fire from armed bands in Port-au-Prince, the capital, yesterday as violence in the city continued to raise serious concerns.

The peacekeeper, a Peruvian, was part of a patrol in the Cite Soleil area helping a group of people who had been attacked by “bandits” throwing stones, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said today.

“The blue helmets reacted efficiently to this attack, forcing the bandits to flee and seek refuge among the civilian population,” the mission added. The Peruvian was seriously wounded in the left leg and underwent surgery.

Meanwhile, the UN police force in the strife-torn country has strongly condemned a rash of lynchings in the city over the past several weeks.

“MINUSTAH expresses its very serious concern over this new settling of accounts and firmly condemns these acts of violence which are considered as crimes under Haiti’s constitution and laws,” UN Police (UNPOL) spokesman Jean-Francois Vezina told a news briefing yesterday.

He called on “citizens who have participated in these criminal acts” to end them at once.

Violence in Haiti’s capital has been one of the major problems facing MINUSTAH since it was set up by the Security Council last year to help to re-establish order in the impoverished Caribbean country after an insurgency forced elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile in February 2004.

Earlier this month the mission sent out armoured patrols into various districts of the capital in an effort to reduce criminal activity, securing the release of half a dozen kidnap victims.

 

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