While acknowledging the right to peaceful assembly, the United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned recent violence in Haiti, sparked by protests against a Government announcement of fuel price increases, reportedly of up to 50 per cent, last Friday.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Council condemned “all acts of violence and attacks on civilians, which have resulted in several deaths, and expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of those killed.”
The initial policy change sparked widespread looting in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and other cities over the weekend, during which at least three were killed, and all international flights were cancelled.
Even though the Haitian Government backed away from the price hike on Saturday, and flights have resumed, protesters continued to clash with police on Monday, according to news reports.
The Council statement called for the immediate cessation of all forms of violence and for those responsible for crimes to be held accountable.
Council Members called on “all parties in Haiti to remain calm, exercise restraint, and to avoid acts that could contribute to instability,” underlining the importance of “respecting the rule of law and democratic order and not resorting to violence or criminal activity.”
The Council also expressed support for the Government “to work with all key actors to quickly restore order, ensure the security of people and property, and overcome the challenges faced by the country.”
Its members recognized the important role of the Haitian National Police, with support from the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), in protecting the civilian population and maintaining public order.
MINUJUSTH called for “constructive dialogue” to restore security in the capital Port-au-Prince.
“The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for MINUJUSTH, working closely with the UN Country Team, in assisting the Government and the people of Haiti in their efforts to consolidate the security gains made in recent years, to promote the rule of law, and to bring lasting stability to their country,” the Council statement concluded.