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Haiti - UN : Update on sources of illicit weapons and financial flows
24/04/2024 11:02:30

Haiti - UN : Update on sources of illicit weapons and financial flows
Monday April 22, 2024, Ghada Waly, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), affirmed before the Security Council that violence "[...] is made possible by the continuous influx of firearms in Haiti and is supported by corruption."

She noted that increasing displacement and situations of extreme vulnerability increased the risks of migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

"Recent events also suggest worrying signs of collusion between different gangs" adding "The latest wave of violence has been marked by fighting between gangs, but also by signs of collaboration between certain groups to carry out attacks, notably against prisons ."

Additionally, attacks targeting key infrastructure served as another reminder of the significant increase in firepower available to gangs as weapons continue to flow into Haiti.

Update on sources of illicit weapons and financial flows :
The latest UNODC report to the Security Council examines illegal activities in southern Haiti. The South's poorly monitored airspace and uncontrolled coastline make it an area vulnerable to the transport of weapons and drugs, including cocaine and cannabis.

Weapons, meanwhile, often enter via the southern coast and are transported directly to Port-au-Prince via routes controlled by gangs.

"Prominent political and economic figures are suspected of being involved in these criminal markets," said Ms. Waly. "These collusion networks are often linked to financial crimes and illicit financial flows, which undermine security, governance and development."

Ms. Waly reiterated her previous recommendations to the Security Council, including the importance of strengthening Haiti's national capacities in firearms regulation and border and customs management. Improving anti-corruption frameworks and investigative capacities is also a necessary step "We must stand alongside Haitian institutions and citizens to confront violence, corruption and chaos, and work towards a future more stable and safer for the Haitian people," she concluded.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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