UN Secretary-General says Haiti urgently needs international security force and humanitarian aid

July 5, 2023  -U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has renewed his appeal to foreign governments with robust security forces to assist Haiti fight the increase in gang violence.

Guterres visited Haiti on Saturday.

He made the appeal after he met with Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry, civil society leaders, U.N. staff, and the heads of various political parties during his one-day trip.

When Guterres met with reporters at Haiti’s international airport in Port-au-Prince, he was pressed on whether an international security force would be deployed as requested by the prime minister last October.

Guterres said he spoke about the issue with Henry, as well as the need to hold credible elections. Henry, who has been in charge of the country since the killing of President Jovenel Moïse, in July 2021, has been under pressure to hold elections.

“I am not here to tell Haitians what to do,” Guterres said, adding that he is here to “listen to them and to encourage them to build consensus as broadly as possible to move the transition process forward.”

Though many expect Henry to carry out elections, reports say that experts believe it is impossible given the country’s present level of violence, with gangs controlling an estimated 80% of the capital.

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