Haiti - FLASH : More than 500 killed and 300 injured in 2 1/2 months, «a specialized force must be deployed urgently»
"Clashes between gangs are becoming more violent and more frequent, as they try to expand their territorial control throughout the capital and other regions by targeting people living in areas controlled by rivals," OHCHR spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said.
From January 1st to March 15, 2023, "531 people were killed, 300 injured and 277 kidnapped in gang-related incidents that took place mainly in the capital, Port-au-Prince," she told reporters in Geneva, stating that most of the victims were killed or injured by snipers who allegedly fired randomly at people in their homes or on the street.
In the first two weeks of March alone, clashes between gangs left at least 208 dead, 164 injured and 101 kidnapped, Hurtado said, adding "A specialized force must be deployed to urgently assist the Haitian authorities in dealing with the a tsunami of gang violence, as rape, sniper killings and kidnappings become daily threats," adding that OHCHR High Commissioner Volker Türk said action was needed now.
"We call on the international community to urgently consider the deployment of a time-bound specialized support force under conditions that conform to international human rights laws and norms, with a comprehensive and precise action plan [...] People must be able to return to their homes under safe and dignified conditions," calling on the authorities to strengthen the capacities of the national police and to undertake a profound judicial reform, as well as to involve more support from the international community.
"Given the grave situation, the recommendations of High Commissioner Volker Türk are more urgent than ever," she stressed.
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