The UN Security Council meets urgently due to the violent

The UN Security Council meets urgently due to the violent crisis in Haiti

The UN Security Council is holding an emergency meeting this Wednesday (6) on the situation in Haiti, which is plagued by increasing gang violence and is threatened with civil war if Prime Minister Ariel Henry does not resign. The criminal gangs that control most of the capital PortauPrince and the roads leading to the rest of the country have in recent days attacked strategic locations in this Caribbean country: the police academy, the airport and several prisons . Of these, thousands of prisoners are being held. They fleed.

A police source said the area around ToussaintLouverture airport was again the scene of clashes between security forces and gangs on Tuesday evening and in the early hours of Wednesday. However, activity is increasing on the streets of PortauPrince, particularly near businesses, although public offices and schools remain closed, an AFP correspondent said.

The leader of one of the largest gangs, Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, called on Tuesday for the resignation of the prime minister, who was in Africa when the current situation broke out. “If Ariel Henry does not resign and the international community continues to support him, we will go straight into a civil war that will lead to genocide,” Cherizier, who was sanctioned by the United Nations, told the press.

Henry, in power since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, was due to resign in February; However, entered into a powersharing agreement with the opposition until new elections are held. In a country without a president or parliament, where the last elections were held in 2016, the leader's future is uncertain.

“We call on the Haitian prime minister to advance a political process that will lead to the establishment of an interim presidential body to hold elections,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda ThomasGreenfield said Wednesday.

Henry has not yet returned to PortauPrince since leaving for Kenya to organize the deployment of a UNbacked multinational police mission. According to a spokeswoman for the governor of the Caribbean island, he landed in Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The government official, who was unable to travel to Haiti because of unrest at the international airport, was denied permission to land in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Also see

“The governments of Haiti and the United States have informally consulted with the Dominican Republic about the possibility that the aircraft carrying Prime Minister Henry back to his country may have made an indefinite stopover in Dominican territory,” an official said Statement from Speaker Homero Figueroa this Wednesday. “On both occasions, the Dominican government indicated that such a stop was impossible without receiving a defined flight plan,” he added.

Not sustainable

Due to gang attacks, the Haitian government declared a state of emergency over the weekend and a nighttime curfew in the capital that will last until Wednesday. UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk warned in Geneva that the situation in Haiti had become “more than untenable” and that 1,193 people had been killed by armed gang violence since the beginning of 2024.

Türk called for the urgent deployment of a multinational mission to support the Haitian police. “The reality is that in the current context there is no realistic alternative to protecting lives,” he said.

Due to violence, political crisis and years of drought, around 5.5 million Haitians (approximately half of the population) are in need of external humanitarian assistance. The United Nations' appeal for $674 million (3.3 billion reais at current exchange rates) this year to help Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, raised just 2.5%.

Last Thursday's unrest forced at least 15,000 people to flee the hardesthit areas of PortauPrince, according to the United Nations, which began distributing food and basic necessities. After months of delays, the U.N. Security Council in October approved sending a multinational police mission led by Kenya to Haiti, ready to work with 1,000 of its agents.

To expedite the launch of this body, Nairobi and PortauPrince signed a bilateral agreement on Friday, but a date for the mission's arrival was not set. At the end of February, five more countries, including Benin, added more than 1,500 soldiers officially announcing their intention to participate in the mission in Haiti.

Kidnappings, snipers on rooftops, sexual violence that fuels fear… At the beginning of January, UN SecretaryGeneral António Guterres declared himself “horrified” by the “impressive scale” of the violence committed by the gangs dominating the country. According to the United Nations, homicides more than doubled in 2023, with nearly 5,000 people killed, including 2,700 civilians.