The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a “sanction regime” for Haiti on Friday, targeting criminal gangs in the country and those who finance them, with the aim of easing the deepening humanitarian crisis in the country.
An asset freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo are among the sanctions to be imposed against those who are involved in criminal activities or who support violent acts.
The adopted resolution imposes sanctions on gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, a former policeman locally known as “Barbecue”.
Drafted by the United States and Mexico, the resolution reads: “Jimmy Cherizier (aka ‘Barbecue’) has engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, and stability of Haiti and has planned, directed, or committed acts that constitute serious human rights abuses.”
The U.S. representative at the United Nations, Linda Greenfield, said in her speech that: “We are sending a clear message to the bad actors that are holding Haiti hostage. The international community will not stand idly by while you wreak havoc on the Haitian people. “
Ms Thomas-Greenfield stated that “this resolution is an initial answer to the calls for help from the Haitian people. They want us to take action against criminal actors, including gangs and their financiers, who have been undermining stability and expanding poverty in their vibrant society.”
In addition, it targeted only one notorious gang leader, Jimmy Cherizier, a former policeman who is reportedly the most influential gang boss in the country.
He heads “G9 Families and Allies”, and has been accused of various violations, including killing civilians, dating back to his office days.
Furthermore, the resolution came amid a deadly cholera outbreak and a shortage of drinking water in Haiti. Due to ongoing political and economic turmoil, the situation has worsened. (Reuters)
Recently, gangs led by ‘Barbecue’ seized control of the Varreux petrol terminal in Port-au-Prince, cutting residents and healthcare facilities off, to protest against a government announcement to cut fuel subsidies.(Aljazeera)
Furthermore, the United Nations has warned of heightened risks of famine if the blockade persists.