UN Sanctions Haiti’s Biggest Gang Leader Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cherizier | United Nations news
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a “sanctions regime” against gangs in crisis-hit Haiti.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) approved a “sanctions regime” to punish criminals gangs in Haiti and called for an arms embargo on non-state actors as the security, economic and health crises deepen in the Caribbean country.
The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution proposed by the United States and Mexico to sanction a powerful gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, also known as “Barbecue”. Sanctions include asset freezes and travel bans.
“Jimmy Cherizier (AKA ‘Roštilj’) has engaged in actions that threaten the peace, security and stability of Haiti and has planned, directed or committed acts that constitute serious violations of human rights,” the resolution states.
While Cherizier was the only target named in the resolution, the measure lays the groundwork for further sanctions.
“This resolution is an initial response to calls for help from the Haitian people,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council.
“They want us to take action against criminal actors, including gangs and their financiers, who undermine stability and spread poverty in their vibrant society.”
A former officer of the Haitian National Police (HNP), Cherizier now leads the “G9 Family and Allies” gang alliance. He has been accused of various abuses, including the killing of civilians, dating back to his days in the security forces. The UN resolution states that his “gang confederation” is playing a leading role in this event blockage of the main fuel terminal in the capital Port-au-Prince.
Thomas-Greenfield also said Washington intends to introduce another resolution to send foreign, non-UN armed forces to Haiti to help maintain security and allow the flow of “desperately needed” humanitarian aid.
“Now that this council has taken deliberate and decisive action to send a strong signal to gangs and those who fund them through new targeted sanctions, we must build on these efforts to meet another immediate challenge,” she said.
The resolution came as Haiti faced a cholera outbreak this has worsened due to continuous political and economic upheavals.
The measure expressed concern over the “protracted and worsening political, institutional, economic, security, human rights, humanitarian and food crisis in Haiti” and reaffirmed the “commitment of the international community to continue to support” the country.
Haiti, which faced years of political instability, is in the midst of a deepening crisis as powerful gangs recently seized control of the Varreux gas terminal in Port-au-Prince, cutting off residents and health facilities from much-needed supplies. The UN has warned danger of starvation if the blockage persists.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Haiti, suffers from periodic natural disasters and a long-standing political stalemate that has worsened assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021.
On Friday, Haiti’s UN representative, Antonio Rodrigue, called on the Security Council to approve the country request for security assistancestressing that the Haitian National Police (HNP) does not have the capacity to deal with the country’s challenges.
“The Haitian government’s request for strong support in the form of specialized forces to assist the HNP requires serious consideration by Council members,” he said.
Acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry appealed to the international community earlier this month to establish a “specialized armed force” to curb the violence, but some civil society groups rejected the prospect of foreign intervention.
Many rights advocates also questioned Henry’s legitimacy and blamed him for the political turmoil that followed postponed indefinitely presidential and legislative elections last year.
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