Title: Thousands March in Haiti Demanding Protection from Violent Gangs as UN Considers International Armed Force
Thousands of Haitians took to the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, demanding urgent protection from violent gangs that have brought chaos and disrupted daily life in the country. The protest comes as the United Nations Security Council deliberates over a potential deployment of an international armed force to address the escalating crisis.
Chanting “We want security!”, the protesters marched towards the prime minister’s official residence, seeking a response to the rampant gang violence that has plagued the nation. However, the police dispersed the demonstration with tear gas, underscoring the volatile situation that people face on a daily basis.
Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, gangs have taken control of up to 80% of Port-au-Prince. The latest UN report reveals a distressing surge in killings, injuries, and kidnappings, with figures showing a nearly 30% increase from January to March alone. UNICEF has reported around 300 cases of kidnappings this year, particularly targeting women and children for financial or tactical gain.
Among the recent victims are a US nurse and her daughter, who were taken captive with their captors demanding a staggering $1 million as ransom. The rising number of abductions has left parents worried about the safety of their children traveling to and from school.
This wave of violence has not only shattered the sense of security within communities but has also exacerbated poverty. Families are being forced to sell their homes to pay off ransoms, pushing them into deeper financial turmoil.
Yet, amidst the chaos, many Haitians are determined to fight back against the gangs and protect their neighborhoods. Demonstrators have made references to a violent uprising earlier this year, where civilians took matters into their own hands and targeted suspected gang members.
Last year, Haiti’s prime minister and other officials urgently requested the deployment of an international armed force. Kenya has offered to lead a multinational police force, however, the UN Security Council has yet to vote on the resolution. Meanwhile, the United States has expressed its support for a non-UN multinational mission to aid the struggling nation.
As the violence in Haiti escalates and the people’s cries for protection intensify, the international community must act swiftly to alleviate the suffering and restore stability in the region. The potential deployment of an international armed force could potentially provide a glimmer of hope for the Haitian population yearning for peace.
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