Haiti to Receive Multinational Police Support Led by Kenya to Combat Gang Violence
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In response to the dire security situation in Haiti, the United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution endorsing a multinational security mission led by Kenya. This move comes as the impoverished nation continues to grapple with a persistent gang crisis since the assassination of its president last year.
According to the official meeting held at the UN Headquarters in New York on the 2nd of this month, Haiti’s plea for international assistance made a year ago has finally been answered. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henri called for the support of security personnel from the international community in October last year.
Foreign Minister Jean-Victor Geneu of Haiti expressed gratitude for the adoption of the resolution, emphasizing that it signifies solidarity with the suffering Haitian people and offers a glimmer of hope after prolonged suffering.
Following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, the Haitian administration has been paralyzed, with the legislative branch entering a state of vacuum due to the expiration of its term. In light of these circumstances, the United States and Kenya recently reached a defense agreement, leading to Kenya’s leadership in the security mission in Haiti. The United States has pledged support and assistance to facilitate Kenya’s role in carrying out this vital mission.
In July, Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its plan to dispatch 1,000 police officers to Haiti, further demonstrating its commitment to stabilize the security situation on the ground.
The resolution received support from 13 out of the 15 Security Council members, with China and Russia abstaining due to concerns regarding the extent of authorization for the use of force based on the UN Charter. However, at China’s request, the council expanded the arms embargo to encompass all gangs in Haiti. This decision is crucial given that the majority of firearms used by Haitian gangs are believed to be imported from the United States.
China’s ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, lauded the arms embargo extension as an essential step towards curbing the deteriorating security situation in Haiti, expressing the belief that an earlier implementation would have prevented the current state of affairs.
In addition to Kenya, other countries including the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Antigua and Barbuda have also expressed their intention to contribute security personnel to Haiti. The Bahamas, for instance, has announced plans to deploy 150 police officers contingent upon the approval of the Security Council.
Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, highlighted the importance of this multinational effort in preserving global peace and security. He acknowledged the growing challenges faced by member countries and their urgent need for support amidst the rising tide of gang violence.
Haitian citizens who fled gangs take refuge in a sports stadium in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on the 1st of last month. [사진 출처 = 로이터]
Haiti, the poorest country that has been more or less ruled by gangs since the assassination of its president, is expected to receive police support led by Kenya.
According to Reuters on the 3rd (local time), the UN Security Council held an official meeting the previous day at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA, and adopted a resolution approving a multinational security mission led by Kenya.
This comes a year after the Haitian government requested support from the Security Council. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henri requested the support of security personnel from the international community in October last year.
Haitian Foreign Minister Jean-Victor Geneu said, “It is an expression of solidarity with the people who are suffering,” and “It is a ray of hope for the people who have suffered for a long time.”
Haiti’s administration has been paralyzed following the assassination of then President Jovenel Moïse in 2021. The legislative branch is known to be in a state of vacuum due to the end of its term.
Accordingly, the United States and Kenya agreed to lead the security mission in Haiti in the process of reaching a defense agreement last month. The United States has decided to provide support and assistance so that Kenya can take the lead in carrying out its security mission in Haiti.
Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement in July that it plans to send 1,000 policemen to Haiti.
Among the 15 members of the Security Council, 13, excluding China and Russia, supported the resolution, which allows for all necessary measures, including the use of force. China and Russia abstained, expressing caution about authorizing the full use of force based on the UN Charter.
The Security Council also expanded the UN arms embargo to cover all gangs in Haiti at China’s request. This is because most of the guns used by Haitian gangs are believed to be imported from the United States.
“This is a very important decision,” said Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the United Nations. “If the Security Council had imposed an arms embargo earlier, the security situation in Haiti would not have deteriorated to what it is today.”
In addition to Kenya, three countries including the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Antigua and Barbuda also expressed their intention to provide security personnel to Haiti. In particular, the Bahamas announced that they would deploy 150 police officers if the Security Council approved it.
“We are stepping forward to create new ways to maintain global peace and security, responding to the repeated calls of our member countries as they face multi-dimensional crises amid rising gang violence,” said Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations.
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