UN Reports Over 2,400 Killed in Haiti in 2023 Due to Gang Violence and Lynchings
More than 2,400 killed and 900 kidnapped since January
Haiti has been gripped by a wave of gang violence and popular justice that has killed more than 2,400 people and kidnapped nearly 1,000 others since the beginning of the year, the UN said on Friday. The UN human rights office said that the situation was alarming and called for urgent action to protect the population and restore the rule of law.
According to the UN, at least 2,439 people have been killed and 902 injured between January 1 and August 15. Among the dead, 310 were alleged gang members who were lynched by local people and vigilante groups. One police officer was also killed in a lynching.
The UN also said that 951 people have been kidnapped during the same period, mostly for ransom. The victims include children, women, journalists, human rights defenders and humanitarian workers.
Gangs control most of Port-au-Prince and terrorize civilians
The UN said that the main cause of the violence was the proliferation and expansion of gangs, especially in the capital Port-au-Prince. The gangs have taken over about 80 percent of the city and have engaged in clashes with each other and with the security forces.
The gangs have also targeted civilians with carjackings, rapes, armed robberies and extortion. They have also attacked public infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals and water facilities.
The UN said that the violence has forced thousands of people to flee their homes and seek shelter in other areas or in neighboring countries. It also said that the violence has hampered the delivery of humanitarian aid and essential services to millions of people in need.
Haiti faces multiple crises amid political instability
The UN said that the violence was exacerbated by the political instability and insecurity that have plagued Haiti for years. The country has been without a functioning parliament since January 2020 and has faced repeated protests and unrest over corruption, poverty and human rights violations.
The situation worsened after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise on July 7, which triggered a power struggle among rival factions. The country is also recovering from a devastating earthquake on August 14 that killed more than 2,200 people and injured more than 12,000 others.
The UN said that it was working with the Haitian authorities and other partners to address the humanitarian and human rights crisis. It also urged the international community to increase its support and solidarity with the Haitian people.
Read More Breaking News
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.