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A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) made public yesterday called on the United Nations,
the governments of the US, France, Canada, CARICOM countries and other governments to act
early to help the country overcome the crisis that has crippled the country for so long, and to help
the country transitions democratically. The report details the abuses that the ordinary citizens
face daily at the hands of the gangs and the government’s inability to address the crime epidemic
or protect the citizens. Looking at four (4) municipalities within the Port-au-Prince metropolitan
area; Cabaret, Cité Soleil, Croix-des-Bouquets and Port-au-Prince, the report mentions the
abuses committed here by the criminal groups and the inaction of the state between January and
April 2023. The report then calls for urgent measures to respond to the extreme levels of violence
as well as a palpable sense of fear, hunger, and abandonment that the average Haitian feels daily.
There has been a significant increase in murders, kidnappings, and sexual violence perpetrated
by criminal groups in the metropolitan area of the capital, while the state appears to have
abdicated its responsibility to provide for and protect the people.
The report cited chilling statistics that brings to life the reality that the people face. For instance,
the UN recorded more than 2,000 people killed and more than 1,000 others kidnapped during the
first half of the year while, HRW recorded 67 murders, including 11 children and 12 women, and
more than 20 cases of rape and gang rape by multiple perpetrators. The violence and the state
and government’s inaction before this gripping violence has pushed some people to take things
into their own hands by turning to jungle justice, or Bwa Kale, which became popular towards
the end of April 2023. More than 200 suspected members of criminal groups across the nation
have been killed in June 2023 alone, creating a worrying trend where the state lacks the
wherewithal to enforce the laws. UNICEF also recorded nearly 300 cases of kidnappings in the
first half of the year, a number that has been recorded for the previous year, and three times more
than in 2021. In most cases, children and women are forcibly abducted by the heavily armed
groups and used for financial or tactical purposes. HRW indexes the de facto government of
Ariel Henri, which has failed to protect the population from the violence of these criminal
groups, exacerbated by the constant influx of arms and ammunition, mostly from Florida. Many
of these criminal groups are suspected of having links to politicians and high-ranking state and
economic actors and the police. It is no wonder that there have not been any prosecutions or
convictions of those responsible for the murders, kidnappings and sexual violence meted out on
the people, nor their supporters since the turn of the year.
While the HRW report calls for immediate action by the international community to save the
nation, it is imperative to say that just last week, the Republic of Kenya has come up to take the
mantle for an international force to stabilize the country. This response mirrors the current
sentiment of the citizens about the security situation they find themselves in. Nearly all civil
society representatives and victims of abuse agreed the situation had deteriorated so much that an
international response had become necessary, particularly the security situation. According to the
testimonies of many of them, it is necessary “to avoid, as of now, aggravating the suffering and
the abuses, by putting in place sufficient guarantees to avoid the serious violations resulting from
the international interventions of the past and the enduring legacy of slavery, exploitation and
abuse by former colonial powers”. According to the HRW’s Nathalye Cotrino the legacy of
abusive foreign interventions should not serve as an excuse for inaction, but on the contrary
result in a call to action, to right the wrongs of the past and to support Haitian efforts in favor of

real democratic governance, respect for fundamental human rights and an end to the deadly
cycles of violence and abuse.
The Kenyan proposal for leading the multinational force is currently awaiting approval from the
UN but various organizations and personalities have called on other African states to oppose
Kenya’s decision to lead an intervention force in Haiti aimed at combating armed gangs, in an
open letter. The approach of the leaders of Kenya is part of a logic totally opposite to what is
proclaimed in the charter of the African Union (AU), they criticized. The signatories to this letter
call on African States to invite Kenya to urgently review this approach, which seriously
undermines the sovereignty of Haiti and its right to self-determination. The Frantz Fanon
Foundation also denounces the “illegitimate and anti-Pan-African” intervention project of the
Kenyan army in Haiti.
Elsewhere the final funeral rites of the famous journalist Liliane Pierre-Paul, star presenter and
programming director of the private station Radio Kiskeya, who died on July 31, 2023, was held
on Saturday August 12, 2023, at Parc Sainte Thérèse in Pétionville, in an atmosphere marked by
strong emotion, from relatives, colleagues and friends, as well as personalities from various
sectors of society, who filed past her remains before attending an ecumenical religious ceremony
rife with Protestant, Catholic and voodoo symbolisms. Many speakers praised her courage and
love for her people and country. Despite the solemn nature of the ceremony, it was obvious that
the presence of some political leaders such as Michel André, spokesperson for one of the
branches of the People’s Democratic Sector Secteur démocratique Populaire (SDP) an ally of
the current regime, and former Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant, currently under Canadian
sanctions for gang financing, was booed and forced to leave the funeral. She was buried in Azile,
in the Nippes department, near her husband, Anthony Barbier, who passed on January 29, 2021.
Funeral services were also held on Monday (August 14 th ) for the former provisional president
Boniface Alexandre in the premises of the Cour de Cassation in downtown Port-au-Prince.
Various personalities from different sectors of national life came to pay tribute to the former
President, who died ten days ago. It was an opportunity for Prime Minister Ariel Henry to salute
the passage of the professor of constitutional law who headed the Court of Cassation for years.
According to Ariel Henry, President Boniface Alexandre was the archetype of Vir Bonus, a true
good man who respected the law and enjoyed a good reputation. He is of this caliber of man of a
certain era, which unfortunately we find less and less in our society.
Dela Harlley

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