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BINUH condemns surge of gang violence in Haiti´s Bas Artibonite

Port-au-Prince, Nov 28 (Prensa Latina) Over 1,690 people were killed, wounded or kidnapped in Bas Artibonite, some 100 km off north of Haiti´s capital, the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) condemned on Tuesday.

BINUH´s report analyzes insecurity consequences in that region from July 2022 to October 2023, where at least 20 criminal gangs operate.

Kidnappings, rapes, attacks on agricultural properties and public transport vehicles have become part of the daily life of citizens and the phenomenon accelerated sharply since July 2022.

“Extremely violent, they do not hesitate to execute the local population when they attack villages considered rivals and burn the kidnapped to force their families to pay ransoms.

In addition, they use sexual violence as a weapon against women and even young children,” BINUH added.

BINUH also criticized the fact that the gangs and supporters made farmers and property targets, while the payment of ransoms, theft of crops and livestock and the destruction of irrigation canals forced more than 22,000 people to flee their villages to seek refuge in the region’s urban centers.

These displacements have already led to a reduction in cultivated land and the indebtedness of many farmers and traders, who are unable to repay their loans.

The aggravating effects of this situation are already being felt in Bas-Artibonite, where over 45% of its population was living in a situation of acute food insecurity and gangs are in control of National Route 1 and the main settlements along some 80 kilometers of the northern coast.

To contain the crisis, BINUH insisted on the need to reinforce the police and deploy a Multinational Security Support Mission as soon as possible, although it recognized that this will not be enough.

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