UN envoy calls for improved security in Haiti to promote political progress

A section of the armed gang members patrol streets in Haiti's Capital. [Courtesy]

The top UN envoy for Haiti on Monday stressed the need for improved security in the country to allow for further political progress.

In her briefing to the Security Council, Maria Isabel Salvador, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Haiti, welcomed the recent political progress in Haiti, especially the establishment of the Transitional Presidential Council (TPC).

"I urge all Haitian stakeholders to put in place the envisaged transitional governance arrangements as swiftly as possible, especially the appointment of an interim prime minister and government, and the prompt nomination of the Provisional Electoral Council," she said.

However, she said improved security is a necessary condition for further political progress.

Despite recent positive developments on the political front, a much-improved security situation remains a sine qua non for further progress. Gang leaders and other spoilers have stated their intention to violently disrupt the current political process, she said. "I cannot stress enough the need to assist Haiti with its efforts to re-establish security."

Salvador called for the urgent deployment of the Multinational Security Support mission, which was authorized by the Security Council in October 2023.

The sanctions regime against Haiti gang factions is an effective tool to discourage destabilization attempts by spoilers and criminals, toward transparent political and democratization advancement, she added.

During the first three months of 2024, around 2,500 people were killed or injured as a result of gang violence, making the quarter the most violent since BINUH's human rights section started recording statistics in January 2022, she said.

The humanitarian response plan for Haiti for 2024, which requires 674 million U.S. dollars, is only 8.1 percent funded. Yet the humanitarian situation continues to spiral in an unprecedented downward trend, she said.

Since the start of the latest round of violence, the number of people in need has continued to grow exponentially. Since March 8, close to 100,000 Haitians have left Port-au-Prince, escaping gang violence in search of security. Food insecurity also remains rampant across the country, with half of the population suffering from severe food  insecurity, she noted.

The multiple protracted crises -- political, security, and humanitarian -- that Haiti continues to face must be worked out together. Only through an inclusive, participatory, credible and transparent process that leads to a renewed democratically elected governance will sustainable development become a reality for the people of Haiti, she said.

The Caribbean Community-facilitated process created opportunities for a new transitional governance arrangement that should permit a Haitian-led, Haitian-owned political process that leads to the organization of inclusive, participatory and credible elections, said Salvador. "I urge Haitian stakeholders to put their differences aside and deliver for the people of Haiti through the implementation of a sustainable, time-bound and commonly accepted roadmap. I encourage the international community to continue to stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti."

By AFP 11 hrs ago
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