Haiti: The Biden administration makes a UNSC resolution to expand the rapid action force



CNN

The United States has drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing the deployment of an immediate action force to Haiti as the country grapples with a wider crisis, a U.S. official confirmed.

The effort appears to be an advertisement for the Biden administration, after a US official earlier this week said it was “talking about a US security presence” inside Haiti. But it is unclear what role the US would play in such a rapid-action force.

The resolution was first reported by the Miami Herald.

Meanwhile, the US Agency for International Development has deployed a disaster relief team to Haiti, following a brief visit by a high-level White House delegation to Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince, earlier this week.

The situation in Haiti appears to be worsening by the day, with health and security crises unfolding at the same time, including a cholera outbreak, food and fuel shortages, widespread protests and uncontrolled gang violence. The United Nations released a scathing report on Friday, accusing the country’s powerful groups of using rape as a tool of intimidation and control.

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres asked for help from the Haitian National Police, after the country requested such external assistance.

Gang fighting in Port-au-Prince was brutal this summer and saw entire neighborhoods go up in flames, displacing thousands of families and trapping others in their homes, afraid to leave even for food and water.

Hundreds were killed, wounded or missing. Criminals still control or influence parts of the country’s populous cities, and kidnappings for ransom threaten residents’ daily movements. In recent weeks, protesters in several cities have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in the face of high fuel prices, rising inflation and rampant crime.

Their anger was further fueled last month when Henry announced he would cut fuel subsidies to fund the government, a move that would double prices at the pump. Haiti’s powerful gangs have exacerbated the fuel crisis, with the country’s main port of Port-au-Prince blocked.