The UN Security Council (UNSC) has approved an initial year-long security mission to Haiti to aid with the country’s entrenched gang problem. Ariel Henry, the acting prime minister who’s been calling for foreign support since last year, thanked the UNSC, adding “we couldn’t wait any longer”.
Calling the security situation in Haiti ‘dire’ is an understatement:
- Thousands have been killed since January
- Violent gangs control most of the capital Port-au-Prince, and
- A key gang leader has even called for an armed uprising to overthrow the provisional government
So this multinational and UN-authorised mission, to be led by Kenya, aims to secure key infrastructure while supporting local police in “targeted operations”.
Intrigue’s take: So there are real questions around whether Haiti is ready for another foreign intervention; and whether Kenya is best placed to lead it.
But it’s notable that the UN Security Council has managed to push past its record of gridlock and agree on an option at all. And that’ll count as a success for those who see doing nothing as the worst option of all.
Also worth noting:
- The UNSC motion passed with 13 votes out of 15.
- The two abstentions came from Russia and China: Russia said an armed intervention was an extreme measure that needed to be thought through, while China said that without a functional government in place, external support wouldn’t be effective.