Haitian gangs fail to disarm

Gang leaders in Haiti's largest slum said on Monday that they were putting disarmament plans on hold due to raids by UN peacekeepers on the streets they control.

    Violence decreased after Preval was elected in February

    Amaral Duclona, one of the gang leaders in Cite Soleil, a warren of cement block homes and shanties on the outskirts of the capital, said: "UN troops don't want peace and disarmament because they want a justification for their presence here."

    Duclona, acting as a spokesman for all the gangs in Cite Soleil, said there were no plans for a rescheduling of Monday's public ceremony, during which he and other gang leaders were to carry out a pledge made last week to lay down their arms.


     
    Rene Preval, Haiti's president, and Edouard Alexis, the prime minister, have demanded that all armed gangs surrender their weapons or risk being killed. But Duclona said UN peacekeepers had become an obstacle to peace.

    "How can we hand over our weapons while UN troops continue to conduct heavy attacks against us?"

    Violence

    The gangs in Cite Soleil, which is home to thousands of supporters of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former president, were mostly responsible for violence aimed at destabilising the US-backed interim government installed after Aristide was ousted from power in February 2004.

    The United Nations sent its peacekeeping force - now numbering about 8,000 soldiers and police - to restore order shortly after Aristide was pushed from office by an armed rebellion.

    The level of violence dropped after Preval, a former Aristide protege, was elected in February. But kidnappings and political bloodshed have risen again since last month.


    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.