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UN Human Rights chief warns of spiraling gang violence in Haiti

Port-au-Prince, May 9 (Prensa Latina) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Tuesday warned against a “never-ending cycle of violence” in Haiti as gangs continue to inflict extreme cruelty on people, and vigilantes take the law into their own hands.

In the month of April alone, more than 600 people were killed in a new wave of extreme violence that hit several districts across the capital, according to information gathered by the Human Rights Service of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH).

This follows the killing of at least 846 people in the first three months of 2023, in addition to 393 injured and 395 kidnapped during that period – a 28% increase in violence on the previous quarter.

Overwhelmed by the ever-increasing insecurity, Haiti is seeing a worrying increase in mob killings and lynchings of alleged gang members, with at least 164 of these murders documented in April.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recent reports documented extremely vicious attacks on population with at least 1,634 people killed, wounded or kidnapped from January to March this year, more than double the number in 2022. Among victims were at least 42 children kidnapped or injured, while armed gangs used snipers to attack people on the streets or at their homes.

The Police Department, on the other hand, intensified operations in gang-controlled areas and retook control of Labolue 12, while forcing back gangs in Savanne Pistache and preparing actions in Village de Dieu, at the southern entrance of this capital.

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