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UN approves BINUH for additional year, insists Haitians set aside differences


UN Security Council renews BINUH, its Haiti monitoring office, requiring an outcomes report due in October as part of the approval.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously Friday to extend the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) until July 15, 2023, after several member nations suggested stronger measures such as sending in a force to combat the gangs.

In renewing BINUH, the Security Council’s Resolution 2645 requires an update to be filed in October 2022. Recognizing that small arms and ammunition used by the Haitian gangs come from other countries, the resolution also called on its own U.N. members to prevent illegal arms trafficking and flow of money to the Caribbean nation.

“The Security Council is ready to consider taking measures as appropriate to address these challenges.” said Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the alternate United States representative to the U.N., in a session immediately after the July 15 vote.

Screenshot of Head of Mission Martin Kimani taken during the UN Security Council virtual meeting July 15, 2022. Kimani spoke of Africa’s solidarity with Haiti. Photo by J.O. Haselhoef for The Haitian Times

“Set aside differences”

Two other long-time issues are addressed in the resolution: Haitians’ political stalemate and XX.

“It is long past time for Haiti stakeholders to set aside their differences and to reach agreement on a political framework,” DeLaurentis said. “We will continue to demand progress from Haiti’s political actors.”

Security Council members demanded that gang violence and criminal activities cease immediately, saying they stand ready to freeze assets or ban travel for those who participate in or support gang violence, criminal activities or human rights abuses.

“This resolution raises clear warnings to the gangs that the Security Council is closely following their actions,” said Zhang Jun, a long-time member of the Security Council from China. “The gangsters must immediately stop violence and criminal activities and the occupation of public facilities and roads.”

BINUH received its first mandate in June 2019 and is led by Helen La Lime, a diplomat from the United States. The 2022 mandate provides BINUH’s police and corrections unit with up to 42 personnel to serve as advisers. Its human rights unit will continue to address sexual and gender-based violence, amongst other security issues.

Negotiations to extend the BINUH mandate were difficult, according to the Security Council report released prior to Friday’s vote, similar to previous Council negotiations about Haiti. China proposed measures, including an arms embargo, targeted sanctions and a multinational force to support Haiti’s efforts to fight gang violence. Other council members wanted more time to discuss such suggestions. The compromise contained in the draft indicates the possibility of the Council considering such measures in the near future.

“The gangsters must immediately stop violence and criminal activities and the occupation of public facilities and roads.”

Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations

Numerous diplomats offered comments including those from Russia, Brazil and Kenya, represented by Head of Mission Martin Kimani. He spoke of Africa’s solidarity with Haiti as the two countries have both tried to sustain competent and stable governments while overcoming poverty, foreign intervention and transnational criminality.

Kenya’s political history also included time on the brink of collapse. It used dialogue to arrive at a vision, constitutional reforms and holding successful democratic elections, according to Kimani.

“We have an obligation to Haiti and its people,” he said. “Your revolutionary war against slavery and domination was echoed in our own war against colonialism.”

“Africa owes you every support,” Kimani added.
Last week, the U.S. promised $48 million towards specialized training for Haiti’s National Police, PNH, and to build a law and order infrastructure able to combat Haiti’s rampant gang violence.

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