’Apocalyptic situation’ on Caribbean island – UN expert — RT World News

Haiti has descended into “unprecedented” levels of violence and cruelty, a senior human rights observer said

A senior UN human rights expert likened conditions in Haiti to the current situation “The worst of times” In Somalia, he said that the Caribbean country has descended into unprecedented violence and chaos since gangs took control of a large part of the capital last month.

“I'm out of words, honestly, at this point.” Human rights monitor William O'Neill told the UN Human Rights Council earlier this week. “It's terrible, it's like the end of time.” He added that the capital, Port-au-Prince, is suffering “A level of intensity and cruelty in the violence that is unprecedented in my experience in Haiti.”

Health care and other public services have been devastated by gang violence, and schools, hospitals, banks and other institutions have been repeatedly attacked. O'Neill said the international airport has been closed since last month, and gangs control all major roads in and out of the capital. He added that the gangs imposed fees on every vehicle and person moving in the areas they control.

The gang uprising began on February 29, forcing Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign while he took refuge in the US territory of Puerto Rico. Haiti, which has not had a president since the assassination of Jovenel Moise in 2021, currently has no elected leaders. A transitional council is now being formed to form a new government.

O'Neill has previously worked on humanitarian crises in countries such as Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Bosnia and Nepal. “Here, I think what is different is that the state is practically absent.” He said. “There is no state, and it's almost like a Hobbesian world, where it's really survival of the fittest… Unfortunately, the fittest now are the gangs.”

Thousands of people have fled Port-au-Prince in recent weeks. O'Neill warned that gangs already control about 90% of the capital, and if violence intensifies in other parts of the country, it could lead to a mass exodus of refugees to the United States and the Dominican Republic.

The human rights expert expressed his regret that Washington did not disrupt the smuggling of American-made weapons into Haiti. “I'm amazed that you can't get food and medicine to Haiti, but you still get weapons and bullets.” He said. “I cannot believe that my government cannot search those boats leaving the Miami River and take away every gun and bullet because Haiti does not produce any guns or bullets.” he added, “If the gangs do not have their weapons or bullets, they lose all their power.”

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