Friday morning, October 21, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution that establishes “a specific sanctions regime, aimed at the leaders of armed gangs” operating in Haiti, and all those who support them, financially or with weapons.
According to the online outlet AlterPresse, these restrictive measures consist of a travel ban, the freezing of their assets, and an arms embargo for non-state actors.
The Haitian gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier is the best-known target of these sanctions. This former national police officer, who heads a federation of armed gangs known as the “G9 an fanmi e alye” [family and allies], which sows terror in Haiti, has blocked, since September 12, 2022, the Varreux oil terminal, in the town of Cité Soleil (north of Port-au-Prince), where 70% of petroleum products are stored.
According to the de facto government of Ariel Henry, this blockade has caused an interruption of economic and educational activities in the country. However, in reality, global activities are paralyzed, as there has been a persistent shortage, for several months, of petroleum derivatives in the national market.
After deciding to postpone the official return to classes, from Monday, September 5, to Monday, October 3, 2022, the de facto government has, in fact, prevented the return of students to classes by announcing, on September 14, 2022, an increase of more than 100% of the price of oil derivatives in Haiti.
The UN resolution, adopted on October 21, 2022 by the Security Council, targets all those who engage in criminal activities, violence, arms trafficking, human rights violations, and obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian aid or products which are essential to the population.
It also identifies all those who, with their actions, compromise peace, stability and security in Haiti and in the region. The vote on the resolution, scheduled for last Wednesday, October 19, 2022, was postponed by the United States and Mexico, in order to review the text in the hope of obtaining more support from the members of the Council.
As pointed out by the Washington Post, the final text eliminated a reference to a call, dated October 7, 2022, by the de facto Council of Ministers of Haiti, for the urgent dispatch of an international military force, which must combat the violence in Haiti and mitigate its humanitarian crisis.
“A strong and dissuasive political message”
Haiti’s representative to the UN Security Council, Antonio Rodrigue, declared his agreement with the unanimous approval of the text, whose measures will contribute, he says, to curbing the murderous and violent activities of armed groups, which are proliferating in the country. These criminal actions have many victims and cause massive displacements of civilians.
Through the adoption of this resolution, the actors are sent “a strong and dissuasive political message,” which is likely to make them change their behavior, Rodrigue stated. This is a step in the right direction, he added, while recognizing that sanctions alone will not be able to eradicate violence.
Rodrigue also spoke of the inability of the Haitian National Police (HNP) to confront the armed groups. The request of the de facto government in Haiti for strong support in the form of a specialized force that would come to the aid of the HNP “deserves careful consideration” by the members of the UN Security Council, Rodrigue reiterated.
The de facto prime minister, Ariel Henry, has called for a new foreign military intervention in Haiti, which would supposedly help the nation deal with crime and the humanitarian crisis. Various sectors have described this government request as a crime of high treason against the Haitian nation.
Sanctions without consequences, regrets Daniel Foote
In reaction to the vote on this resolution, the former special envoy of the United States of America to Haiti, Daniel Foote, recalled how Chérizier and others “have been under US sanctions for some years.”
“No one that I know of has known about the consequences” of US sanctions in recent years, he said.
Daniel Foote recommends removing support for de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry, the main obstacle to peace.
(Resumen Latinoamericano) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
- kwjorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/kwjogobonito/January 31, 2024