UN Security Council approves set of sanctions against powerful gangs in Haiti – SABC News

A resolution establishing a framework for sanctions, including a targeted arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on anyone who threatens the peace and stability of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti, was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council.

The legally binding resolution also calls for an immediate end to the violence, criminal activities and human rights abuses that undermine the peace, stability and security of Haiti.

The country has been in the grip of political instability since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, which has since seen open fighting between gangs and the under-resourced Haitian National Police, including blocking the free movement of critical supplies through the country’s main fuel terminal.

Council consensus on Haiti in an effort to return the country to stability and allow humanitarian aid to reach a vulnerable population caught between a weak security apparatus and powerful gangs.

United States Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield said, “This resolution is an initial response to the calls for help from the Haitian people. They want us to take action against criminal actors, including gangs and their financiers, who undermine stability and widen poverty in their vibrant society. In response, this council sanctioned one of the country’s most notorious gang leaders, a gang leader whose actions have contributed directly to the humanitarian crisis that has caused so much pain and suffering to the people of Haiti.”

This is a reference to Jimmy Cherisier, also known as “Barbecue”, the leader of an alliance of gangs known as the G9 Family and Allies, and who has been involved in actions that threaten peace and stability in Haiti.

Chinese Ambassador Geng Shuang said: “We hope that Resolution 2653 will send a clear signal to criminal gangs in Haiti and call on them to stop doing evil and hurting their people and to stop undermining the country’s economic, social and security. We hope that this resolution will send a clear signal to the political parties in Haiti. They must immediately end their collusion with criminal players, stop their guerilla fighting, put the interest of their country and people first, and reach a consensus on the nation’s political structure and a transitional arrangement without delay.

A rampaging gang and the blockade of a key port have disrupted the country’s critical imports, including fuel and clean drinking water, amid an escalating cholera epidemic, while a recent UN analysis pointed to a catastrophic famine facing millions, including thousands at risk of starvation .

The resolution was welcomed by all three African countries in the Council, including Kenya.

Kenyan Ambassador Martin Kimani said: “This new resolution is one of the most tangible measures taken recently by the Security Council. It represents the first real step on which to build a comprehensive and lasting solution to the crisis in Haiti. This is a strong signal of the Council’s determination to stand with the Haitian people against the gangs and their sponsors. Kenya welcomes concrete and measurable indicators to review these sanctions. Such indicators will allow the Security Council to assess progress with a view to gradually adjusting measures as the situation improves.

A separate resolution is also currently being negotiated, which would respond to a request by the Haitian government to send an international force outside the UN to further help stem the violence and deteriorating humanitarian conditions there.

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