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Haiti: 17 more suspected gang leaders arrested in new sweep by UN peacekeepers

Haiti: 17 more suspected gang leaders arrested in new sweep by UN peacekeepers

Seventeen more presumed gang members have been arrested in one of Haiti’s most dangerous areas, the Cité Soleil quarter of Port-au-Prince, the capital, in the latest sweep by hundreds of United Nations peacekeepers to rid the city of violent crime.

The operation yesterday by some 700 UN blue helmets, which also led to the seizure of a number of illegal weapons, was planned and executed in collaboration with the Haitian National Police, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said in a statement.

“It marks an intensification of recent efforts to stabilize and secure the crime-ridden parts of the Haitian capital,” the mission added.

Over the weekend, UN peacekeepers picked up gang leader named Johnny Pierre Louis, also known as Ti Bazil, the presumed perpetrator of numerous murders and other bloody crimes, during a sweep through the Key Boyle residential section of Cité Soleil. He often acted under the orders of an ex-gang chief named Evens, whom MINUSTAH recently ousted from the Boston area of Cité Soleil.

MINUSTAH, set up in 2004 to help re-establish peace in the impoverished Caribbean country after an insurgency forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile, has launched several anti-gang operations in recent weeks. The mission recently has transformed Evens’ former headquarters into a free medical clinic.