According to a survey conducted in January, over seven out of ten Haitians support the idea of establishing an international force to assist the national police in battling armed gang violence that has increased since President Jovenel Moise’s killing in 2021.
An “international force” has been sought by the Haitian government, and a study by the local corporate risk management association Agerca and consulting firm DDG found that almost 1,330 people across Haiti, or roughly 69% of the population, supported it.
However, almost 80% of respondents indicated they thought Haiti’s PNH national police needed assistance from abroad to deal with the issue of armed gangs, with the majority saying it should be sent in right now.
The United Nations recommended in October that a “quick action force” be dispatched to Haiti to address the rising violence caused by armed gangs, whose turf wars have resulted in hundreds of fatalities and thousands of displaced people.
Many people, however, have expressed suspicion, citing atrocities from earlier missions and doubting a force supporting Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s administration, which has been operating without democratically elected officials since early January.
The majority of nations have been reluctant to send soldiers, although El Salvador has promised “technical assistance,” while close by Jamaica announced on Tuesday that it would be willing to take part.
U.N. Last Monday, ambassador to Haiti Helen La Lime stated that the United States and Canada had expressed caution, but “not a clear no.”
Nobody wants to make the same mistakes twice, she said, adding that the force would collaborate with the PNH.
More than one-third of individuals polled stated that, as of 2021, they knew someone who had died in their community, family, or place of employment. More than 70% of people claimed that the presence of gangs in the capital had restricted their mobility, and 83% claimed that they had lost money.
36% of respondents reported that they or someone they knew had been the victim of a kidnapping since 2021, compared to 28% for physical assault and 9% for sexual assault. A fifth reported leaving their houses, while a quarter claimed they had stopped participating in social activities.