Haiti: UN peacekeepers launch new anti-gang sweep in capital, arresting 7

Haiti: UN peacekeepers launch new anti-gang sweep in capital, arresting 7

UN peacekeepers conduct one of their operations
United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti have launched a new anti-gang operation, arresting seven more suspected criminals in their month-long crack-down on armed gangs in one of the violence-ridden country’s most dangerous areas, the Cité Soleil neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, the capital, bringing the total so far detained to nearly 70.

Joined by the Haitian national police, troops and police officers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) started the operation called ‘New Age’ yesterday morning in Cité Soleil’s Bois Neuf with systematic patrols in pursuit of members of the gang led by Bélony, whose former headquarters was occupied without firing a shot.

“The permanent presence of MINUSTAH in the Bois Neuf quarter is the first step towards a stabilization that will allow the return to normal life in the quarter,” MINUSTAH Military Force Commander Major-General Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz said, calling on local residents to continue providing information that could lead to the arrest of gang leaders.

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, last month arrested dozens of suspects in the Bélékou, Key Boyle and Boston quarters of Cité Soleil, but top gang leaders like Evens and Amaral Duclonat have evaded the sweep.

But the mission has transformed Evens’ headquarters in Boston into a free medical clinic.