The U.N. Security Council ordered the secretary-general on Friday to consider options to help combat Haiti’s armed gangs, including a possible U.N. peacekeeping force and a non-U.N. multinational force.
A resolution adopted unanimously by the council asks U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report back on options within 30 days.
It also authorizes up to 70 U.N. police and corrections advisers to scale up support and training for Haiti’s understaffed and underfunded national police force. And it “encourages” countries especially in the Caribbean region to respond to appeals from Haiti’s prime minister and from Guterres for the deployment of an international specialized force.
Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry sent an urgent appeal last October for “the immediate deployment of a specialized armed force, in sufficient quantity” to stop the gangs, but more than eight months later no country has stepped up to lead such a force.
Guterres, who visited Haiti earlier this month, called last week for a robust international force to help the Haitian National Police “defeat and dismantle the gangs.” He said the estimate by the U.N. independent expert for Haiti, William O’Neill, that up to 2,000 additional anti-gang police officers are needed is no exaggeration. O’Neill, who concluded a 10-day trip to Haiti this month, is an American lawyer who has been working on Haiti for over 30 years and helped establish the Haitian National Police in 1995.