United Nations Approves Resolution to Control Haitian Gang Violence

Posted by on Oct 12, 2023 in Stuff You Should Know, World

The United Nations Security Council approved sending an armed multinational force to Haiti to address the violence and political instability that plagues the country. The resolution also calls for an end to arms sales to Haiti with exceptions for security purposes. Kenya is planning to lead the multinational force, not the United Nations (UN). One likely reason why the UN chose not to lead this mission is that some previous UN peacekeeping missions in Haiti have resulted in scandal.  

UN Peacekeepers in Haiti after earthquake
UN Peacekeepers helping the nation of Haiti in 2010.

Gangs control much of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. An estimated 200,000 people have fled their homes due to the violence. The unrest has also interfered with the functioning of the capital’s main port and supply lines running to other parts of the country. 

Support for the Resolution 

The resolution to send aid to Haiti was approved by thirteen members of the Security Council, with Russia and China declining to vote. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the U.S. supports the plan and is prepared to provide financial and logistical support. Neighboring Caribbean countries Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, and Jamaica also have offered to support the mission. The mission is expected to last for 12 months. 

Violence and Inflation  

Secretary Blinken cited statistics to describe the situation in Haiti. There were over 2,000 murders and 1,000 kidnappings during the first six months of 2023. There is a great need for humanitarian assistance throughout the country, as people fight hunger and diseases such as cholera. In some areas, people have not had access to clean drinking water or electricity for more than a year. 

The economic situation in Haiti is also concerning. In Haiti, inflation is rapidly rising, causing the prices of goods and services to increase. Inflation reached a high of 49.3 percent in January of 2023. The average inflation rate for the whole year is expected to be around 44 percent. The income that Haitian citizens make cannot keep up with the speed of these rising prices. 


Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in 2021. Since then, the office of president has remained unfilled. Prime Minister Ariel Henry took on some presidential responsibilities but has suspended all presential elections. Henry cited the country as being too unstable to hold them.  

Because there is no functioning police or judicial system in some areas, gangs have taken over the country. These gangs are using violence to control regions in Haiti and terrorize its citizens. In addition, the gangs are involved in illegal activities such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder.  

Natural Disasters 

Adding to the instability of the country, Haiti has suffered many natural disasters in recent years. Haiti and Dominican Republic are located on Hispaniola, an island in the Caribbean Sea. The island experiences frequent hurricanes and tropical storms. A recent earthquake in 2021 made living in Haiti much harder. Because of the country’s political and economic weaknesses, recovery has been very slow. 

Dig Deeper Find Haiti on a map, then see if you can find Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. Then locate Kenya, home to those who will lead the mission.