The U.N. Security Council on Monday approved the deployment of an international security force to assist Haiti’s national police in curbing escalating gang violence and restoring stability across the “strife-torn Caribbean nation.”
The Haitian government and various leaders in the nation requested the U.N. support, facing months of chaos during which over 3,000 homicides and 1,500 kidnappings have been reported this year, and more than 200,000 people displaced from their homes.
Sexual violence against women and girls by armed gangs is on the rise, and tens of thousands of children cannot attend school, the U.N. said.
Haiti has been troubled by gang violence that surged particularly after the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise, resulting in a power vacuum despite Prime Minister Ariel Henry governing on an interim basis.
The U.N. Security Council has voted in support of sending its Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission to secure Haiti’s vital infrastructure and transit points. The resolution, drafted by the United States and Ecuador, was met with gratitude from Haitian officials, expressing hope for their troubled nation’s future.
Haitian Foreign Minister Jean Victor Geneus expressed gratitude to countries’ ambassadors to the U.N. for their support and the historic resolution, emphasizing that it signifies solidarity with a distressed population. He urged member states to swiftly commit to the mission to restore a safe and stable environment, and reinstate democratic institutions.
Haiti’s Long Term Stability
The resolution, based on the U.N. Charter’s Chapter VII that outlines the Security Council’s role in maintaining international peace and security, was jointly penned by the United States and Ecuador.
Following the resolution’s adoption, U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, acting deputy representative to the U.N., noted that the council had “made history” by authorizing the multinational support mission, emphasizing its role in addressing Haiti’s multidimensional crisis.
“The deployment of this mission will help to support Haiti’s critical near term needs and to foster the security conditions necessary for the country to advance long term stability,” Mr. DeLaurentis said.
He added that while the mission will primarily support Haitian police, it is but one part of the larger effort to address the wider crisis, including the humanitarian, economic, and political challenges.
The resolution, adopted with 13 votes in favor and 2 abstentions (Russia and China), also empowers the MSS mission to secure critical infrastructure, transit hubs, airports, ports, schools, hospitals, and key intersections.
The Security Council has called on participating nations to uphold the highest standards of transparency, conduct, and discipline for their personnel, along with establishing an oversight mechanism to prevent human rights violations and abuses, including sexual exploitation, read a UN news update.
China’s ambassador and permanent representative to the U.N. Zhang Jun explained his abstention, saying it is necessary for Haiti to establish a “legitimate, effective, accountable government” before any foreign intervention will prove effective. He also urged timely reporting to the Security Council, and that the mission must comply with international law and the basic norms governing international relations, so as to avoid infringing on sovereignty.
But on the other side of the Pacific, China is facing the possibility of being taken to court for a second time by the Philippines for not respecting national sovereignty.
The Philippines, which has internationally-recognized claims to parts of the South China Sea, is considering legal action at the U.N.’s international court of arbitration, The Hague, after observing “severe damage” to masses of its coral reefs in the West Philippine Sea that Beijing is trying to claim. Chinese maritime militia ships were seen by the Philippine Coast Guard to be in the region at the time that damage was suspected.
For the action over Haiti, other ambassadors celebrated the U.N. resolution as a significant milestone.
Martin Kimani, ambassador and permanent representative of Kenya, called this an “exemplary spirit of cooperation.” The foreign minister reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to work closely with Haiti’s allies and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member States in establishing the mission in accordance with the resolution.
Security alert for US Citizens
As the unrest continues in Haiti, U.S. citizens continue to be warned not to travel to Haiti. In August, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti issued a “security alert” for Americans to leave the impoverished Caribbean country “as soon as possible” due to the deteriorating security situation.
From The Epoch Times