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The UN office in Haiti is concerned on Wednesday about the enlistment of children by gangs that plague the island, “one of the six serious violations of the rights of the child”. The armed gangs have drastically increased their hold on the country in recent years.
The influence of armed gangs in Haiti alarms the local office of the United Nations (UN). He “is particularly concerned about the recruitment of minors into gangs, one of the six serious violations of the rights of the child”, Wednesday, May 4.
For several decades, armed gangs have been raging in the poorest neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, but they have drastically increased their hold across the city and the country in recent years, multiplying murders and heinous kidnappings.
Last week, a video, which circulated widely on social media in Haiti, showed a child in his 10s, his face masked, displaying a high-caliber automatic weapon. In this clip, shot in Martissant, a poor neighborhood in the west of Port-au-Prince totally controlled by gangs since last June, the boy explains that he is at war with the leader of a rival armed gang.
The UN has denounced this enlistment of children in organized crime as clashes between gangs now also paralyze the northern and eastern suburbs of the Haitian capital.
A human toll difficult to establish
The United Nations office in Haiti has thus “condemned the violence of armed gangs since April 24, which has affected the municipalities to the north and northeast of Port-au-Prince, killing dozens of Haitians and injuring and displacing thousands of ‘others”.
Haitian civil protection notably estimated on Wednesday “that between April 24 and May 2, at least 39 people were killed, 68 injured and 8 missing” in this area that at least 9,000 people were forced to flee. precipitously because of the violence.
Establishing a precise human toll of these clashes is still impossible because civil protection teams and those of human rights organizations cannot go to these neighborhoods where gunfire resounds daily.
“Forty-eight schools, five medical centers and eight markets have been closed because of the situation,” said the public institution.