Biden presses United Nations to intervene to end Haiti violence
UNITED NATIONS — President Joe Biden asked the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to immediately authorize the Kenya-led multinational force to help fight gangs and restore peace in Haiti.
Biden in his speech at the General Assembly in New York thanked Kenyan President William Ruto for his “willingness to serve as lead nation of UN security support mission” in the Caribbean nation where growing gang violence has killed many.
Kenya’s decision to lead that mission has been criticized by Ruto’s opponents and Haitians have been skeptical about that mission.
“I call on the Security Council to authorize this mission now,” Biden said. “The people of Haiti cannot wait much longer.”
The U.N. Security Council resolution would authorize Kenya to lead a multinational force and provide 1,000 officers. Haiti is home to 11 million people and only 10,000 active police officers.
The U.N. has reported that 1,860 people were reported killed, injured or kidnapped in Haiti from April to June, a 14% increase compared with the first three months of the year.
The surge in gang violence remains centered in the capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, with nearly 300 people alone killed or injured by snipers in the slum of Cite Soleil, according to the human rights report released late last month by the U.N. Integrated Office in Haiti, known as BINUH.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry requested the immediate deployment of a foreign armed force last October to help fight the gangs that have seized control of more territory ever since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.