Can foreign intervention save Haiti from gang violence?

As Haiti struggles with gang violence and poverty, new foreign aid seeks to stabilise the country.

Former police officer Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier, leader of the 'G9' coalition, leads a march surrounded by his security against Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 19, 2023
Former police officer Jimmy 'Barbecue' Cherizier, leader of the G9 coalition, one of Haiti's most powerful gaings, is surrounded by his security detail as he leads a march against Prime Minister Ariel Henry in Port-au-Prince on September 19, 2023 [Ralph Tedy Erol/Reuters]

Since last year, Haiti’s government has been asking the international community for help to restore its peace and security. This week, the United Nations Security Council approved sending an international police force led by Kenya to Haiti. Kenya signed on to send 1,000 police officers, and Washington pledged $100m and logistical support. The Caribbean country has been gripped by spiraling gang violence, poverty and food shortages. And if international assistance does succeed in pushing back the gangs, there’s still a need to address Haiti’s lack of governance and political power vacuum. The last UN mission there lasted from 2004 to 2017 and faced accusations of rights abuses, sexual violence and starting a cholera outbreak that killed more than 9,000 people. Can this foreign intervention avoid repeating those mistakes?

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Episode credits:

This episode was produced by Miranda Lin and our host Malika Bilal. Sarí el-Khalili and Amy Walters fact-checked this episode.

Our sound designer is Alex Roldan. Our lead of audience development and engagement is Aya Elmileik, and Adam Abou-Gad is our engagement producer.

Alexandra Locke is The Take’s executive producer, and Ney Alvarez is Al Jazeera’s head of audio.

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Source: Al Jazeera