The United Nations Security Council will vote on Monday on whether to deploy foreign police in Haiti and authorize the use of force to help the Caribbean nation fight violent gangs that have largely controlled the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Haiti has requested international assistance for nearly a year and UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the 15-member Security Council last month that a “strong use of force” by a multinational police force and the use of military assets was necessary to maintain law and order in the process of restoring law. Haiti and the disarmament of gangs.
It was not immediately clear how China and Russia, which have veto power along with the United States, France and Britain, would vote on the draft resolution drafted by the United States. Diplomats said they were concerned about allowing the use of force and wanted the UN arms embargo extended to all gangs.
Haitian officials said the country does not produce weapons and that weapons used by the gangs are mostly imported from the United States. The US ATF’s Firearms Bureau found that four out of five criminal weapons found and traced in the Caribbean originated in the United States.
China made amendments seen by Reuters, including imposing an arms embargo on “all non-state actors in Haiti” and saying the UN mandate would only apply to countries after Haiti notifies the Security Council – in writing – of its involvement in security. a task.
A resolution in the Security Council requires the approval of nine votes and no veto.
The response to Haiti’s request for assistance has been slow due to the struggle to find a country willing to lead a security mission. In July, Kenya pledged to send 1,000 police officers. The Bahamas subsequently committed 150 people, while Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda also expressed a willingness to help.
Guterres urged countries, especially in the Americas, to “build on this new momentum.”
Countries have been cautious about supporting the unelected government of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has said fair elections cannot be held under the current level of insecurity. Haiti has been without elected representatives since January.
Although the security mission has been approved by the UN Security Council, it is not a UN operation.
UN peacekeepers were deployed to Haiti in 2004 after an uprising that led to the overthrow and exile of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The peacekeepers left in 2017 and were replaced by UN police, who left in 2019.
Haitians are concerned about the armed presence of the United Nations. This Caribbean nation was cholera-free until 2010, when UN peacekeepers dumped contaminated sewage into a river. More than 9,000 people died from the disease and about 800,000 became ill.
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