International Security Force for Haiti: A Ray of Hope Amidst the Chaos
Urgent Plea Amidst Escalating Violence
Plagued by escalating gang violence, Haiti has been pleading for an international police force to assist in restoring peace. Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, has urgently called on the United Nations to expedite the process, citing the daily hardships faced by the Haitian people. The list of atrocities inflicted on the population by gangs includes kidnappings for ransom, looting, fires, recent massacres, sexual and gender-based violence, organ trafficking, human trafficking, homicides, extrajudicial executions, recruitment of child soldiers, and blockading of main roads.
The Unfolding of an International Response
After months of negotiations, plans for the international police force are taking shape. It was announced that several countries, led by Kenya, intend to contribute to the force Haiti has been requesting for a year. However, the establishment and deployment of the force could still take several more months. The United States has pledged significant logistical support, although it won’t provide ground security forces. Other countries that have indicated their participation include Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda.
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The Role of the Multinational Security Force
The proposed multinational force is awaiting approval from the UN Security Council for establishment. The mission of the force will be to provide operational support to the police, ensure the security of critical facilities and traffic routes, and strengthen the country’s police in the long term. The force’s establishment is critical as the Haitian national police have proven unable to confront the gangs, leading to multiple political and humanitarian crises in the country.
Awaiting UN Security Council Approval
A draft resolution prepared by the US and Ecuador will be discussed at the UN next week. Both US President Joe Biden and his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto have urged the Security Council to authorize the deployment of a multinational force in Haiti, stating that the Haitian people can wait no longer. The US administration also plans to ask Congress for $100 million to finance the force, which should have significant police and military components to support the Haitian police.
Challenges in Mobilizing International Support
Despite the urgency, the international community, remembering past experiences and wary of the risks of getting trapped in a deadly quagmire, is struggling to mobilize. The force’s deployment faces challenges not just in terms of timeliness but also in terms of adequate safeguards and the potential for exacerbating existing political crises. The force will be a much-needed relief for the beleaguered nation, but its implementation requires careful planning and international cooperation.
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