OAN’s James Meyers
10:35 AM – Tuesday, October 3, 2023
The U.N. Security Council has approved sending an international police force to Haiti to help combat gang violence.
On Monday, the U.N. Security Council voted to send a multinational armed force led by Kenya to the Caribbean nation, marking the first time in almost 20 years that a security force would be sent to the nation.
The move, drafted by the United States and Ecuador, was approved with 13 votes in favor and two abstentions from Russia and China.
With the approved resolution, the force would be deployed for a year, with a subsequent evaluation taking place after nine months to see whether progress has been made.
The question of when the task force will be deployed has not yet been decided, however, even more countries are being encouraged to participate in aiding Haiti. The overall funding for the armed forces will be “voluntary contributions,” with U.S. officials stating that they will donate up to $200 million.
The decision comes after Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry made repeated calls for military assistance since over a year ago.
An adviser to Haitian Prime Minister Henry told the press that the government welcomed the vote, saying, “We await with impatience the mission to combat general insecurity.”
Haiti’s National Police has struggled to combat the violence on their own accord with close to 10,000 active officers in a country of more than 11 million people.
“More than just a simple vote, this is in fact an expression of solidarity with a population in distress,” said Jean Victor Généus, Haiti’s foreign affairs minister. “It’s a glimmer of hope for the people who have been suffering for too long.”
Additionally, it has not been made clear just how expansive the security force would be.
Kenya’s government had initially proposed sending 1,000 police officers, while Jamaica, the Bahamas, Antigua, and Barbuda have also pledged to send additional personnel to the Caribbean country.
After President Jovenel Moise’s murder in July 2021, Haiti is now hoping that with sturdy, deployed armed forces, it can once again organize general elections and restore peace and security.
According to U.N. statistics, from January 1st to August 15th, over 2,400 people in Haiti were reportedly killed, more than 950 kidnapped, and another 902 injured. More than 200,000 people have also reportedly had their homes taken over by gang members as they fight to control more territory.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan thanked Kenya and other nations for their additional support of Haiti.
“We have taken an important step today, but our work to support the people of Haiti is not done,” Sullivan said.
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