The Secretary General of the United Nations Organization (UN), Antonio Guterres, called this Sunday, October 9, for the deployment of an international armed force in Haiti, an extremely poor country in the Caribbean. “paralyzed” for a security crisis “dramatic” under the influence of criminal gangs and under the threat of cholera.
” [M. Guterres] urges the international community, including members of the Security Council, to urgently consider the Haitian government’s request to promptly deploy a specialized international armed force to deal with the humanitarian crisis.”said his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, in a press release. The Secretary General of the UN “remains extremely concerned about the situation in Haiti, which is facing an outbreak of cholera cases in the context of a dramatic deterioration in security that has paralyzed the country” from the Caribbean, according to the spokesperson.
The next Security Council dedicated to the crisis in Haiti is scheduled for October 21, but Guterres already sent the Council on Sunday “a letter outlining options for enhanced security support”, in accordance with resolution 2645 adopted on July 15, explained the same source. This resolution extended for one year the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (Binuh), a structure that replaced the UN Peacekeeping Mission and tries to help the local police.
In the letter delivered by Guterres to the Security Council, and obtained by Agence France-presse (AFP), the UN chief also denounces “criminal gangs that have taken control of strategic infrastructure, such as the international port of Port-au-Prince and the country’s main fuel terminal (Varreux) ». In addition, he is alarmed, “There is in this context a resurgence of cholera and the current situation has created the perfect conditions for an exponential increase [des cas] in all the country “.
The UN had already warned on Thursday against a risk of” burst “ cholera cases in the country. After blue helmets introduced the bacteria in 2010, an epidemic spread into 2019, killing more than 10,000 people. The announcement on Sunday of new cases and the first seven deaths raised fears of a new disaster as the country runs out of fuel to supply drinking water to the population and run hospitals.
Since the recent detection of the cholera bacillus, which is transmitted by water, eleven cases have been confirmed and 111 are suspected, for the moment only in the capital Port-au-Prince, he had declared, this Thursday, during a video press conference of Haiti the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country, Ulrika Richardson. But “The numbers could be much higher”according to her, specifying that analyzes were being carried out abroad to determine whether or not it was the same strain as in 2010.
“A new degree of despair”
Since Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s September 11 announcement of an increase in fuel prices, the country has been the scene of new violence, looting and demonstrations. And since mid-September, the Varreux oil terminal, the largest in the country, has been blocked by armed gangs.
In late September, two UN officials described to the Security Council a “humanitarian disaster” in this poor country, where the situation has reached “a new degree of despair” and had predicted that this year “4.5 million people [allaient se retrouver] at crisis level of food insecurity or worse, including 1.3 million in emergency situations”.
Haiti has been mired in a deep economic, political and security crisis for years and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 has made the situation worse with increasingly tight control by gangs.