UN Report: Haiti Homicides More Than Doubled in 2023

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
FILE – A bullet hole is seen in a glass door after an armed attack forced the closure of Fontaine Hospital in the Cité Soleil district of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Nov. 18, 2023.

There were nearly 5,000 homicides counted in Haiti last year, more than double than in 2022, a United Nations report said Tuesday, as the country endures rampant gang violence amid the near-collapse of its political institutions.

“I am appalled by the staggering and worsening level of gang violence devastating the lives of Haitians, in particular in Port-au-Prince,” U.N. chief Antonio Guterres said.

According to the report, a total of 4,789 homicides were registered in 2023, an increase of 119.4 percent over the previous year.

“In the same vein, the number of victims of kidnapping rose from 1,359 reported in 2022 to 2,490 in 2023, representing an 83 percent increase,” it said.

The small Caribbean nation, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, has seen years of declining security due to raging gang violence, with its political, economic and public health systems also in tatters.

The U.N. Security Council in October approved the deployment of a multinational mission to support Haiti’s overwhelmed police force, which Kenya agreed to lead.

The Kenyan parliament approved the deployment of 1,000 police officers in November, but the mission has been delayed pending a decision by the country’s high court, which is due to rule on the issue by January 26.

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