UN envoy says Haiti police won't win fight against gangs

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UN envoy says Haiti police won't win fight against gangs

UN Security envoy to the impoverished Caribbean country said on Monday that Haiti's police will not win a fight against criminal gangs without more international support. It has been three months since UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed such a force after it was requested by Haiti's government. diplomats say that discussions seem to be stuck on which country will take the lead.

Helen La Lime, UN envoy to Haiti, told reporters that they were still hopeful that a rapid action force could be created, adding: "We could act with more urgency, I think the international community needs to." She said that we won't win the fight without significant additional support. The only thing that Haitians are preoccupied with is security, and that is being able to survive to the end of the day. The United States, Canada and Mexico discussed the issue at a leaders' summit in Mexico City earlier this month. Ahead of the summit, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said it was important to identify a country to take the lead and noted that Canada had expressed an interest in that role.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the summit that Canada was working with allies, including the United States, to prepare for options if the situation in Haiti deteriorates.

A multinational force would not deploy as a UN mission, but it would likely get UN Security Council backing. The United States said it would seek a resolution from a council, but diplomats said that would only happen once a force is formed.

Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, Haitian gangs have expanded their territory. The violence has left much of the country off-limits to government and has resulted in routine gun battles with police.

In September, Haitian gangs blocked a fuel terminal for nearly six weeks, halting most economic activity.