Suspected killer of two blue helmets in Haiti arrested by UN mission, national police
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the country’s national police today announced the arrest of a gang member wanted in connection with the killing last November of two blue helmets serving with the peacekeeping operation.
The arrest of ‘Zachari’ took place following a joint operation which began at dawn in the Drouillard quarter of Cité Soleil, MINUSTAH said in a press release on Thursday. No shots were fired.
The suspect is wanted in connection with the assassination of two Jordanian peacekeepers from MINUSTAH in November 2006. He is “is thought to be the chief of the cell responsible for kidnappings” within the Belony gang.
Another presumed kidnapper was also arrested, according to MINUSTAH, and both suspects are being detailed by the Haitian National Police.
“MINUSTAH and the Government of Haiti continue to work together to stop armed gangs and their criminal activities in the capital,” the mission said.
On 10 November 2006, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a MINUSTAH patrol near the Port-au-Prince airport, fatally injuring Jordanian peacekeepers Ahmad Mohammed Hassan Ba’irat and Rami Wasif Taha Al Mohammed.
Also last year, on 17 January, two other Jordanian blue helmets serving with MINUSTAH, Tareq Al Jaafreh and Rabi Merei, were shot and killed while manning a checkpoint in Cité Soleil.
Armed gangs have been a constant concern of MINUSTAH since it was set up by the Security Council to help to re-establish peace in the impoverished Caribbean country after an insurgency forced elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile in February 2004.