“Most of the victims are not directly linked to the gangs but were targeted by gang members and we have also received new reports of sexual violence,” writes the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement.
Over the period from January to the end of June, Michelle Bachelet’s services recorded 934 murders, 684 injuries and 680 kidnappings.
“We are deeply concerned about the worsening violence in Port-au-Prince and the increase in human rights violations that are being committed against the local population by heavily armed gangs”, writes Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the High Commission. .
“State authorities seem overwhelmed by the situation: institutions are paralyzed by lack of resources, corruption and violence, which fosters impunity”, notes the spokesperson, who can only note that ” although the Haitian National Police responded quickly and as much as possible, their limited resources failed to stem the violence.”
“We urge the authorities to uphold all human rights and put them at the heart of their actions in this crisis,” he continues.
“The fight against impunity and sexual violence, as well as the strengthening of human rights and the monitoring of their application must remain a priority”, he explains, urging those responsible to “immediately” stop the violence.
– Gusts –
Since Friday, bursts of automatic weapons crackle all day long in Cité Soleil, where two gangs clash.
Along the corridors of slums that have formed there over the past four decades, thousands of families have no choice but to hide in their homes, without being able to obtain water and food. Some residents are victims of stray bullets.
These deadly clashes between gangs affect all activities throughout the capital because it is in Cité Soleil that the oil terminal that supplies Port-au-Prince and all of northern Haiti is located.
Across the capital, service stations no longer distribute a drop of fuel, drastically driving up prices on the black market.
For more than two years, gangs who enjoy widespread impunity have multiplied heinous kidnappings and the High Commission notes that since the beginning of June, gangs have also attacked key institutions in Port-au-Prince, such as the courthouse and the port authority.
– No embargo –
Faced with this surge of violence, the UN Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution by the United States and Mexico asking the member states of the organization to prohibit the transfer of small arms to these gangs.
China, which had called in vain for an embargo on small arms for gangs in Haiti, considered that “this resolution was a warning” for the latter.
Individual sanctions could be taken within 90 days under the resolution against their leaders, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun said after the vote.
The text “could have been better”, he added, considering however that it was “a good step in the right direction”.
The Security Council also extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), “which will strengthen the collective international response to the human rights crisis unfolding in the country, as well as facilitate the delivery humanitarian aid,” said the High Commissioner.