In Haiti, the UN chief asks for an international armed force to help the country emerge from the crisis

The Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, on Sunday 9 October asked for the deployment of an international armed force to Haiti, an extremely poor country in the Caribbean. “paralyzed” from a security crisis “dramatic” under the influence of criminal gangs and under the threat of cholera.

[M. Guterres] urges the international community, including members of the Security Council, to urgently consider the request of the Haitian government to immediately deploy a specialized international armed force to deal with the humanitarian crisis “, said his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, in a press release. The Secretary General of the United Nations “Remains extremely concerned about the situation in Haiti, which is facing an outbreak of cholera cases in the context of a dramatic deterioration in security that has paralyzed the country” of the Caribbean, according to the spokesperson.

Read also: Article reserved for our members In Haiti, deadly demonstrations against soaring fuel prices

The next Security Council dedicated to the Haiti crisis is scheduled for October 21, but Mr. Guterres has already sent the Council on Sunday “a letter outlining options for increased security support”, pursuant to resolution 2645 adopted on July 15, the same source explained. This resolution extended for one year the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (Binuh), a structure that has replaced the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission and which seeks to help local police.

Resurgence of cholera

In the letter delivered by Mr. Guterres to the Security Council, and obtained by the Agence France-presse (AFP), the UN head also denounces “criminal gangs that have taken control of strategic infrastructures, such as the international port of Port-au-Prince and the country’s main refueling terminal (Varreux). Furthermore, he is alarmed, “in this context there is a resurgence of cholera and the current situation has created the perfect conditions for an exponential increase [des cas] in all countries “.

The UN had already warned Thursday against a risk of“burst” cases of cholera in the country. After the bacteria were introduced by UN peacekeepers in 2010, an epidemic raged through 2019, killing more than 10,000 people. Sunday’s announcement of new cases and the first seven deaths raised fears of a new disaster as the country runs out of fuel to provide the population with clean water and run hospitals.

Read also: In Haiti, almost five hundred dead, wounded or missing in the suburbs of Port-au-Prince in ten days, according to the UN

Since the recent detection of the cholera bacillus, which is transmitted by water, eleven cases have been confirmed and 111 suspected, for the moment only in the capital Port-au-Prince, the coordinator said during a video press conference in Haiti on Thursday. United Nations humanitarian in the country, Ulrika Richardson. But “The numbers could be much higher”according to her, specifying that analyzes were underway abroad to determine whether or not it was the same strain from 2010.

“A new degree of despair”

Since Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s 9/11 announcement of a rise in fuel prices, the country has been the scene of new violence, looting and demonstrations. And since mid-September, the Varreux oil terminal, the largest in the country, has been blocked by armed gangs.

In late September, two United Nations officials described to the Security Council: a “humanitarian disaster” in this poor country, where the situation has arrived “A new degree of despair” and he had foreseen it this year “4.5 million people [allaient se retrouver] in crisis in terms of food insecurity or worse, of which 1.3 million in emergency situations “.

Read also: Haiti: Port-au-Prince sinks into violent gang clashes

Haiti has been embroiled in a deep economic, security and political crisis for years, and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 has worsened the situation with an ever stronger grip on the part of gangs.

The world with AFP

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