Haiti: Guterres welcomes decision to deploy multinational mission
UN engagement with Haiti will continue ahead of the deployment of an international support mission backing beleaguered police who are fighting rampant gang violence, the UN chief’s Spokesperson told journalists on Tuesday.
Stéphane Dujarric was speaking a day after the Security Council voted to send the non-UN mission to the Caribbean country, where armed groups have taken control of large areas of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and terrorized civilians for more than a year.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the development, he said.
Full UN support
Violence by armed groups is just one element of the multifaced crisis in Haiti, which remains gripped by political, humanitarian, and socioeconomic challenges.
The international mission has been approved for an initial period of 12 months, with a review after nine. It will be led by Kenya and several of Haiti’s neighbours have also pledged their support.
“Yesterday’s resolution was not about the approval of a UN mission, but the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) will fully support the Multinational Security Support mission, within the limits of its mandate, the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy and in full respect of the decisions taken by the Haitian State,” said Mr. Dujarric.
“While awaiting the deployment of this mission, the UN will continue to engage closely with Haitian authorities – in particular in support to the police, the corrections and justice system, and the electoral process,” he added.
Maria Isabel Salvador, the head of BINUH, the UN’s political mission in Haiti, called the Council decision “a positive and decisive step to bring peace and stability to the country”.
“This decision follows a long plea by the Haitian government, relayed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, based on the observation that the country will not emerge from the current security situation without strong international support for the Haitian National Police,” she said in a statement issued after the vote.
With Haiti confronting many crises, she urged political leaders to "rise to the occasion to address the challenges facing the country and its population."
Human rights in Haiti: fast facts*
- The human rights situation is marked by brutal attacks, including indiscriminate killings and kidnappings targeting the civilian population.
- Armed violence and attacks by gangs against the population escalating.
- Gangs have used snipers on rooftops to indiscriminately shoot people.
- Mass looting and burning of houses have resulted in the displacement of thousands of people.
- Sexual violence, including collective rape, is used by gangs to terrorize especially women and girls.
- The emergence of vigilante movements presents an additional layer of complexity to an already highly challenging security situation.
- National institutions are ill-equipped to re-establish the rule of law.
- Stabilizing the security situation in Haiti will require significant support to national police.
* From the Report of the Secretary-General on Haiti, September 2023