At least 234 killed or injured in gang violence in Haiti – UN



From July 8 to 12, at least 234 people were killed or injured in Haiti’s Cité Soleil, a poor and densely populated area of ​​the capital, Port-au-Prince, the United Nations (UN) said on Saturday.

Riots broke out between the two rival factions, and the ill-equipped and understaffed city police failed to intervene, locking residents in their homes, unable to even go out for food and water.

Many houses in the slums are built of sheet metal, and the inhabitants have become victims of stray bullets. Ambulances could not reach those in need.

“Most of the victims were not directly involved in gangs and became direct targets of gang elements. We have also received new reports of sexual violence,” said UN human rights spokesman Jeremy Lawrence.

Earlier this week, the National Human Rights Network, a Haitian organization, reported 89 dead, 16 missing and 74 injured.

In the six months from January to June, the UN Human Rights Office put the death toll at 934, with another 684 injured. According to him, during this period there were also 680 kidnappings.

“We are deeply concerned about the escalation of violence in Port-au-Prince and the increase in human rights violations committed by heavily armed gangs against the local population,” Lawrence said.

“We call on the authorities to ensure that all human rights are protected and placed at the center of their response to the crisis.”

The bloodshed in Haiti was accompanied by soaring food prices and chronic fuel shortages, a poisonous concoction that hastened the sharp deterioration in the security situation in Port-au-Prince.

“Refuse”

Aid agencies say many areas are inaccessible due to dangerous conditions.

“We call on those responsible for and supporting this armed violence to stop immediately and respect the lives and livelihoods of all Haitians, most of whom live in extreme poverty,” Lawrence said.

Mumuza Muhindo, head of the local MSF mission, told AFP that his team operated on an average of 15 patients a day during the outbreak of violence.

“This is a real battlefield,” Muhindo said. “It’s impossible to estimate how many people were killed.”

Cité Soleil is home to an oil terminal that supplies the capital and the entire north of Haiti, so the clashes have had a devastating effect on the region’s economy and people’s daily lives.

Petrol stations in Port-au-Prince have no gasoline to sell, causing prices to skyrocket on the black market.

“We are seeing a significant increase in hunger in the capital and in the south of the country, with Port-au-Prince hit the hardest,” Jean-Martin Bauer, director of the World Food Program, said on Tuesday.

Over the past few years, Haiti has been hit by a wave of mass kidnappings, with gangs kidnapping people from all walks of life, including foreigners, off the streets.

Encouraged by the inaction of the police, the gangs are becoming more and more brazen.

Haiti announced a rare seizure of weapons in shipping containers late Thursday: 18 military-grade weapons, four 9mm pistols, 14,646 rounds of ammunition and $50,000 in counterfeit money.

The next day, the UN Security Council called on member states to ban the transfer of small arms to the Caribbean nation, but stalled before a full embargo requested by China.