World October 19, 2023 | 12:26 pm

The UN Security Council renews sanctions regime against Haiti

In a rare display of unanimity, the United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to renew the sanctions regime against Haiti for another year. These sanctions have been in effect since October 2022.

The resolution to extend the sanctions, which encompass a comprehensive arms embargo, asset freezes, and travel bans, was jointly presented by Ecuador and the United States. Remarkably, none of the fifteen council members opposed the measure.

Even countries like Russia and China, which have previously expressed reservations about sanctions due to their potential impact on civilian populations in cases like Burma, Mali, or North Korea, lent their support to maintaining punitive measures in Haiti. Notably, the Haitian government itself had called for the continuation of these sanctions.

The primary objective of these measures is to curtail the influence of non-state armed gangs that exert control over significant parts of Haiti, including the capital, Port-au-Prince. As of now, the sanctions specifically target Jimmy Chérizier, also known as “Barbecue,” who leads the G9 Family, one of the country’s most powerful gangs. However, the UN sanctions committee is actively considering adding more names to the list.

It’s important to note that the arms embargo does not apply to UN agencies, the national police, or the armed forces. This exemption becomes particularly relevant as Haiti’s police force is set to receive additional support from a multinational mission, which was approved by the Security Council on October 2 and is currently in the training phase.

Haiti’s ambassador to the UN, Antonio Rodrigue, expressed gratitude to the Council members and underscored that the extension of the sanctions regime sends a clear and robust message to the groups responsible for destabilizing the country. It is hoped that these measures will contribute to reducing insecurity and facilitating the path to new elections in Haiti.

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