Haiti: fighting humanitarian crisis amid gang violence

Today, the UN Security Council held a briefing and discussed the ongoing multidimensional crisis in Haiti. Slovenia condemned the widespread and coordinated gang attacks, underlined the dire humanitarian crisis and political instability and expressed its continuous support for the Haitian population.

Coordinated gang attacks targeting state institutions and critical infrastructure, shutting down the international airport and storming two biggest prisons, freeing more than 4,000 inmates, fostered unprecedented chaos and terror among the civilians.

The Caribbean country is facing political instability, spiral of violence, closed hospitals, schools and gas stations, paralyzed seaport, food insecurity and dire humanitarian situation. Heavily armed gangs are now controlling around 80 % of the capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding municipalities. Life in the capital has turned into a battle for survival with people desperately seeking ways to stay safe and alive.

Given that the gangs have overwhelmed the Haitian National Police, the latter simply cannot contain the security situation alone. “In line with this, we echo the Secretary-General’s call for the swift deployment of the UN backed Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission,” stressed Deputy Permanent Representative while additionally calling for the strengthening of the Haitian criminal justice sector to fight impunity and ensure accountability for gross human rights violations.

Slovenia takes note of the recent formal establishment of the Transitional Presidential Council tasked with choosing an acting Prime Minister to head a new government and setting up the elections. Slovenia encourages a swift operationalization of the council. In addition, the transitional council has to appoint Provisional Electoral Council members that are needed before elections are held. According to the council’s mandate, presidential elections must be held by February 2026.

“The restoration of democratic institutions through peaceful, credible, and participatory elections, with the active participation of women and youth, is the only path towards a stable and secure Haiti,” underlined Deputy Permanent Representative in the Security Council.

Amid the detected human rights abuses are sexual and gender-based violence, including collective rapes, kidnappings and the recruitment and use of children, so women and children clearly bear the heavy brunt of this crisis. Slovenia thus called for unhindered and safe humanitarian access without any preconditions and intensified international support to address the alarming humanitarian needs.

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