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US supports sending international troops to Haiti, draft proposal says:

The United States has drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution encouraging “the immediate deployment of a multinational rapid action force” in Haiti in response to the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation there, according to a copy of the resolution obtained by The Washington Post.

The drafting of the resolution follows pressure from UN Secretary-General António Guterres for the creation of an international force to bolster the Haitian national police as powerful armed gangs destabilize the country and disrupt the supply of fuel and electricity to the impoverished Caribbean. disrupt the nation.

The resolution is the first sign that the Biden administration may be willing to participate in a Haitian mission with a military component. US officials were noncommittal when asked about requests to send US troops to reduce the violence and misrule that has led to a cholera outbreak and a shortage of clean drinking water. The resolution does not identify specific countries that would participate in the Rapid Reaction Force, nor does it state what roles those countries have would play.

Neither the White House nor the State Department immediately responded to requests for comment on the draft resolution, which was first reported by the McClatchy news organization. A spokesman for the Haitian government also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Steep fuel price hikes spark violent protests in Haiti

The United States has long been reluctant to deploy military forces in Haiti. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the United States will accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Haiti and “increase and deploy” security assistance to the country’s national police in the coming days. He didn’t specify what that might entail, but only said the goal was to “strengthen their capacity to counter gangs and restore a stable security environment under the rule of law.”

In last week’s proposal, Guterres recommended that countries send a rapid response force to be followed by a United Nations-led mission. In the draft resolution reviewed by The Post, which a diplomat said was updated Friday, the United States “encourages the immediate deployment of a multinational rapid-action force in support of the [Haitian National Police]as recommended in the letter from the Secretary-General.”

It is unclear to what extent other members of the UN Security Council support such a move, whether China or Russia would veto the proposal, or whether the current draft could change significantly before it is proposed by the United States on Monday.

The resolution also imposes an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on criminal elements in Haiti. It names Haitian gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, known as Barbecue, as someone who “has engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security and stability of Haiti and has planned, directed or committed those acts that involve serious human rights violations. ”

In Haiti, a man named Barbecue is testing the rule of law

Last month, Cherizier, which leads the G9 Family and Allies group, blocked access to Varreux Terminal in Port-au-Prince, the capital. The port is responsible for about 70 percent of the fuel distributed in the country.

Cherizier is seeking a change in leadership of the country, which has been ruled since last year by Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who took power after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Moise’s murder remains unsolved.

The blockage has worsened a precarious economic and social situation in Haiti. Hospitals will run out of fuel early this month amid a resurgence of cholera. Banks are open three days a week, as opposed to six normally. At least one bank branch must close next week due to fuel shortages.

Cholera resurfaces in Haiti as gangs block access to water and hospitals

According to the World Food Program, 4.7 million people in Haiti suffer from varying degrees of hunger, and an estimated 19,000 people experience what the organization considers catastrophic.

Port-au-Prince is increasingly becoming an isolated island with gangs, often tied to the political and economic class, who block the main roads but virtually eliminate the connection to the north and south of the country. Their hold makes it extremely difficult for humanitarian aid to reach those in need.

The Haitian National Police, defeated by the gangs, has lost control of the situation. Local media reported that in recent days a gang seized an armored vehicle and stole the equipment inside it.

On Saturday, a first batch of security equipment ordered from Canada arrived in Haiti. The shipment includes armored vehicles intended to help the police fight back against the gangs.

Mérancourt reported from Port-au-Prince.

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