Photo: Haitian demonstrators march on the street to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in Port-au-Prince. Source: AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph.
On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council postponed votes on U.S.-proposed resolutions to address gang violence and ease supply shortages in Haiti. The resolutions, which the U.S. and Mexico support, would send a multinational action force to contest criminal gangs’ control over water and fuel supplies. On Monday, U.S. representative to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated, “Colleagues, if there was ever a moment to come to the aid of Haitians in dire need, it is now. Faced with extreme violence and instability, Haiti’s leaders and people are crying out for help.” Haiti’s Foreign Minister Jean Victor Geneus said, “The people of Haiti are not living, they are surviving… Every day, human lives are lost. There are kidnappings, public and private property is destroyed.” The resolutions also seek to impose an international arms embargo, travel ban, and asset freeze on Haiti’s gang leaders, such as G9 coalition leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier.
Chinese Deputy Ambassador to the U.N. Geng Shuang cast doubt on whether the Haitian people would welcome such interventions. “At a time when the Haitian government lacks legitimacy and is unable to govern, will sending such a rapid action force to Haiti received the understanding, support and cooperation from the parties in Haiti, or will it face resistance or even trigger violent confrontation from the population?” Geng asked. Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative, implored the Council to “weigh all of the consequences,” pointing out that “Many opposition groups call for not allowing a foreign intervention and they are rightly referring also, to put it mildly, to a not very successful experience with external interference in the affairs of the country.” Brazil’s U.N. representative, Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho expressed similar concerns, declaring that “A Haitian-led solution is central to curb violence.”