Increase in Killings and Kidnappings in Haiti: UN Report Reveals Alarming Statistics

Last year, between October and December, Haiti witnessed a harrowing surge in violence, resulting in over 2,300 fatalities, injuries, or kidnappings, according to a newly released report by the United Nations. This staggering figure represents a nearly 10% increase compared to the previous quarter, underscoring the escalating crisis gripping the nation.

Rise in Killings and Territorial Fights

During this period, the number of killings alone skyrocketed to over 1,600, with officials attributing the surge to the power vacuum created by the demise of a notorious gang leader, Andrice Isca, also known as Iskar Andrice or Iscar Andris. His death unleashed a wave of territorial battles in the Cite Soleil slum of Port-au-Prince, resulting in the deaths and injuries of nearly 270 individuals over a span of approximately two weeks in late November. These clashes primarily occurred within the G-9 Family and Allies, a powerful gang federation, which also targeted their rivals, the G-Pep opposition gang coalition.

Devastating Impact on Humanitarian Front

Amidst the loss of countless lives, the clashes had a disastrous humanitarian toll, forcing more than 1,000 people to abandon their homes and seek refuge in nearby areas. The United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) emphasized this distressing aspect in their report, outlining the dire consequences of the violence that plagued the affected communities.

Kidnappings and Sexual Violence Persist

Tragically, the report further revealed that the number of kidnappings surged by nearly 20% during the same period, with almost 700 people falling victim to this heinous crime. Disturbingly, gangs continued to perpetrate sexual violence, frequently recording their acts and shamelessly sharing the videos on social media platforms in a bid to humiliate their victims.

Children Targeted and Homelessness Crisis

Gangs did not spare innocent children, with over 50 minors losing their lives in the last quarter alone. Shockingly, among the victims was a 10-year-old boy who encountered members of the Grand Ravine gang. Tragically, after being accused of being a police informant, he was summarily executed on the spot.

The pervasive violence has also left more than 310,000 people homeless in Haiti, including a staggering 170,000 children, as reported by UNICEF. Furthermore, the overall toll of violence in Haiti last year exceeded 8,400, more than double the number reported in 2022.

Call for International Assistance

In light of the escalating crisis, BINUH’s report recommended that the international community expedite the deployment of a foreign armed force to aid the troubled nation. However, the arrival of such a force seems unlikely in the near future, despite Haiti’s initial request for assistance over a year ago. Moreover, last week, a Kenyan court ruled against the UN-backed deployment of police officers to Haiti, deeming it unconstitutional.

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