The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a resolution that would authorize a one-year deployment of an international force to Haiti to help stop a surge in gang violence and restore security so that the restive Caribbean nation remains safe from long-term conflict. Can conduct delayed elections on time.
The U.S.-drafted resolution obtained Saturday by The Associated Press welcomes Kenya’s offer to lead the multinational security force. It clarifies that it will be a non-UN force funded by voluntary contributions.
The proposal would authorize the force for one year, which would be reviewed after nine months.
The force will be allowed to provide operational support to Haiti’s national police, which is underfunded and under-resourced, with only 10,000 active officers for a country of more than 11 million people.
The proposal states that the force will “help build the capacity of local police through the planning and conduct of joint security assistance operations as it works to combat gangs and improve security conditions in Haiti.”
The force will also help secure “critical infrastructure sites and transit locations such as airports, ports and major intersections”. Powerful gangs have taken over key roads leading from Haiti’s capital to the country’s northern and southern regions, disrupting the transport of food and other goods.
Passage by the Security Council would give the force the authority to “adopt urgent temporary measures on an extraordinary basis” to prevent loss of life and help police maintain public safety.
Mission leaders will be required to inform the Council on mission objectives, rules of engagement, financial needs and other matters before full deployment.
A spokesman for Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he was not aware of the proposal or the upcoming vote and the government had no immediate comment.
The resolution “condemns the increasing violence, criminal activities and human rights abuses and violations that undermine the peace, stability and security of Haiti and the region, including kidnappings, sexual and gender-based violence, trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants” ” , assassinations, extrajudicial killings, as well as arms trafficking.”
If adopted, it would be the first time that a force has been deployed to Haiti since the United Nations approved a stabilization mission in June 2004, which was hit by a sex abuse scandal and the introduction of cholera. That mission ended in October 2017.
There are also concerns over the proposed Kenyan-led mission, with critics saying police in the East African country have long been accused of using torture, lethal force and other abuses.
The resolution emphasizes that all participants in the proposed mission must take necessary action to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse as well as screen all personnel. It also demands a prompt investigation into any allegations of misconduct.
Additionally, the resolution warns that those involved in the mission should adopt waste water management and other environmental controls to prevent the introduction and spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera.
It was not immediately clear how large the force would be if approved, although Kenya’s government has proposed sending an initial 1,000 police officers. In addition, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda have pledged to send personnel.
Last month, the administration of US President Joe Biden promised to provide logistics and US$100 million to support Kenyan-led forces.
The resolution said the Security Council intends to impose additional sanctions on Jimmy Charizier, known as “Barbecue”, who heads Haiti’s largest gang alliance. Cherizier, a former police officer, recently warned that he would fight any armed forces suspected of abuse.
The proposed resolution comes nearly a year after Haiti’s prime minister and other top government officials requested the immediate deployment of foreign armed forces as the government struggles to fight violent gangs that control 80 neighborhoods of the capital Port-au-Prince. It is estimated that there will be control up to 100 percent. ,
From January 1 to August 15, more than 2,400 people were reported killed, more than 950 abducted and 902 injured in Haiti, according to the latest UN figures. More than 200,000 others have been displaced by the violence, many crammed into makeshift shelters after gangs plundered their communities.