In light of the deteriorating situation in Haiti, UN Secretary-General António Guterres demanded on Monday that an international specialized military force be sent there and urged states to stop deporting people.
Guterres said that gang-related violence and human rights breaches have reached a catastrophic level in a report on the UN Integrated Office in Haiti, which included the recommendations.
“The people of Haiti are suffering the worst human rights and humanitarian emergency in decades,” he authored.
Despite the fact that the gang-led siege at a major gasoline terminal from last year has ended, Guterres underlined that a special force is still required to guarantee that vital infrastructure is not interfered with and that people can cast their votes in a general election whose date has not yet been established.
Over 2,100 people were killed last year, a 35% increase from the year before in terms of recorded killings. With almost 1,350 victims, kidnappings also more than quadrupled last year.
In the meanwhile, Haiti’s National Police is underfunded and understaffed, with just around 9,700 officers on active duty in a nation of more than 11 million.
“There are also allegations that a significant number of national police…may be associated with gangs,” Guterres noted.
Since President Jovenel Mose was assassinated at his private house in July 2021, nations like Canada and the US have sent training and resources, such as armored vehicles, but police remain generally outmatched by gangs whose strength and geographical control have grown since that time.
Along with gang violence and a rise in the number of famished people, Haiti is now dealing with a severe cholera outbreak that has been made worse by deportations from nations like the United States and the Dominican Republic during the last year.
A day before the UN Security Council is slated to convene and discuss Haiti, the report was made public.