Haiti The month of January was the most violent in

Haiti: The month of January was “the most violent in more than two years”

The month of January 2024 was “the most violent in more than two years” in Haiti, said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva (Switzerland) on Friday.

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In January 2024, at least 806 people were killed, injured or kidnapped, and about 300 gang members were also killed or injured, for a total of 1,108 people, three times as many as in January 2023, the office said in a statement.

“The already catastrophic human rights situation has deteriorated further against the backdrop of incessant and increasing gang violence, with catastrophic consequences for Haitians,” condemned Volker Türk, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a press release.

“Every day that passes, new victims are registered. “Now more than ever, the lives of Haitians depend on the immediate deployment of the Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti (MSS) to support the national police and ensure the security of the Haitian population in conditions consistent with human rights norms and standards,” he explained.

Mr. Türk also highlighted the impact of this new wave of violence on the Haitian economy and the spread of food insecurity.

High inflation due to extortion and roadblocks has deprived millions of Haitians of basic goods, he said in a statement.

More than 313,000 people had to leave their homes.

“Many have sought refuge in overcrowded and unsanitary accommodation, affecting their access to health and education services,” the United Nations press release said.

“Although improving the security situation is a prerequisite for breaking the cycle of crises in Haiti, long-term stability can only be achieved if the root causes of poverty, social and economic discrimination, but also corruption are addressed,” emphasized Mr. Türk.

In addition to the pervasive gang violence, there have been violent clashes in recent days between police and protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

According to an agreement reached in December 2022 after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, the current prime minister was to organize elections to hand power to newly elected officials on February 7, 2024.

There have been no elections in the small, poor Caribbean country since 2016 and the presidential office remains vacant.

At least 16 people were killed and 29 others injured between Jan. 20 and Feb. 7, mostly in clashes between protesters and police, the United Nations said.