More People Being Killed In Haiti As Transition Commiteee Still Dithers Over International Force.

Photo: Voice of America. A child stands outside a makeshift home in Haiti.
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More than 2,500 people were killed or injured in gang violence in Haiti in the first three months of this year, a significant increase from the last three months of last year. Of these  (79% men, 18% women and 3% children), an average of nearly 28 victims per day the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) said in a report published on Friday.

The most violent attacks took place in the densely populated neighborhoods of the so-called La Plaine zone, which extends over the municipalities of Cité Soleil, Croix-des-Bouquets and Tabarre. These attacks were carried out

The report repeated calls for faster deployment of the planned security mission, which Henry requested in 2022 and was approved over six months ago, but which has received limited pledges for both troops and funds and been put on hold pending a new government.

It also called for updated sanctions, stronger efforts to block arms trafficking, secure routes to deliver key goods and rehabilitation programs for children recruited into gangs.

At least 590 were killed during police operations, BINUH said. Several were apparently not involved in gang violence, some had impaired mobility, and at least 141 were killed by vigilante justice groups.

Most of the violence took place in the capital of Port-au-Prince, while at least 438 people were kidnapped across the wider West Department and agricultural Artibonite region. The capital’s port-side La Saline and Cite Soleil areas had the longest large-scale attacks.

Gang members continued to perpetrate rapes against women and girls in rival neighborhoods, as well as in prisons and displacement camps, the report found.

Hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced by gangs, the U.N. estimates. Despite criticism by the world body, countries such as the United States and neighboring Dominican Republic are still deporting migrants back into Haiti.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security told Reuters news agency on Thursday that irregular migration of Haitians through the Caribbean “remains low,” though many neighboring countries and other islands have evacuated citizens and stiffened up  their border protections.

Gang violence, which has worsened for years, escalated on Feb. 29 when unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry traveled to Kenya to fast-track a planned international security support mission, but days later he resigned under U.S. pressure.

With a new government yet to be installed, BINUH said, gangs have “changed their tactics” targeting attacks against public institutions and strategic infrastructure, such as the main port and largest airport.

At least 22 police buildings have been looted or set on fire and 19 police officers killed or injured, it said, while blocked supply routes are exacerbating a healthcare and hunger crisis.

Sources: VOA, Reuters, UN, HaitLibre.com

 

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