Urgent Response to Alarming Atrocities
In a unified and determined effort aimed at addressing the escalating security crisis in Haiti, Barbara Feinstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Caribbean Affairs and Haiti at the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs spearheaded a crucial discussion on this pressing matter.
The assembly underscored the imperative of prompt action to effectively counteract the ongoing atrocities perpetrated by gangs. These egregious acts span from indiscriminate attacks on vulnerable individuals to the rampant occurrences of kidnappings and extortion.
A Multifaceted Approach to Stability
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Feinstein underscored the United States multifaceted approach to restoring stability in Haiti. This comprehensive strategy encompasses not only bolstering security forces but also extending humanitarian, economic, and health aid to safeguard essential aspects of livelihood.
The United States remains committed to fostering inclusive political dialogue and supporting Haitian-led initiatives, such as the CARICOM Eminent Persons Group, to establish a roadmap for political consensus and pave the way for upcoming elections.
Strengthening Haitian National Police
Central to the security initiative is the strengthening of the Haitian National Police (HNP). The United States has allocated substantial resources – more than $120 million over the past two years – to enhance the HNP’s capabilities in countering gang violence.
This includes equipping specialized officers for complex anti-gang operations, collaborating with community policing units, and providing advisory support to HNP leadership. Feinstein emphasized the necessity for additional international assistance to further amplify HNP’s effectiveness.
Kenya’s Crucial Leadership Role
A pivotal development emerged as Kenya expressed its affirmative consideration to spearhead a multinational force to aid Haitian security efforts. The Kenyan Government’s commitment includes offering 1,000 police officers to serve in this force.
This groundbreaking decision is poised to infuse fresh momentum into the security landscape by augmenting personnel dedicated to safeguarding vital infrastructure sites. This, in turn, would enable the Haitian National Police to intensify their focus on combatting rampant gang activities.
Path Forward and Collaborative Endeavors
Feinstein detailed the forthcoming steps in this collaborative endeavor. The Kenyan Government plans to carry out an on-ground assessment in Haiti in the coming weeks. They will engage with various stakeholders within the country and at the United Nations.
Once they secure domestic approval, Kenya will cooperate with the United Nations to obtain authorization for the multinational force. The United States is prepared to introduce a resolution for this goal, collaborating with Security Council partners to swiftly secure approval.
Feinstein also pointed out the forthcoming United Nations report on security options for Haiti, expected by August 15th. This report is anticipated to influence the force’s direction.
Rallying International Support
Feinstein’s address concluded with a call to action for the broader international community. She urged other nations to contribute crucial resources, including funding, equipment, and personnel, to bolster the security initiative.
This unified approach underscores the determination to alleviate Haiti’s security concerns and signals optimism for constructive collaboration with Haitian stakeholders, the diaspora, Congress, and global partners in this vital mission.