In notorious area of Haitian capital, UN troops clear house used by gang members

In notorious area of Haitian capital, UN troops clear house used by gang members

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United Nations peacekeepers launched an operation early this morning in Cité Soleil, an inner-city neighbourhood of the capital Port-au-Prince, to occupy a house that had continually been used by armed gangs to conduct criminal activities and to fire on UN troops patrolling the area.

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) initiated the operation at 4:30 a.m. to take control of the house from where gangs often shot at peacekeepers, putting the area’s population in danger. UN forces returned fire only after identifying the shooters – who then quickly fled the scene – as gang members.

UN blue helmets acted to “increase the presence on the ground” of troops and also to “continue to reinforce the security of Cité Soleil,” MINUSTAH acting spokesperson Sophie Boutaud-de-la-Combe told the UN News Centre. No UN forces were injured in today’s operations.

Two Jordanian peacekeepers with MINUSTAH, Tareq Al Jaafreh and Rabi Merei, were assassinated in Cité Soleil on 17 January last year while patrolling a security checkpoint.

MINUSTAH troops now maintain a permanent presence in the neighbourhood that has long been regarded as one of the most violent in the entire Western Hemisphere.