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UN orders evacuation of non-essential staff in Haiti due to increased violence

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UN orders evacuation of non-essential staff in Haiti due to increased violence

The United Nations has ordered the evacuation of all its non-essential workers in Haiti because of increased violence due to ongoing demonstrations in the country's streets, claiming that UN personnel are vulnerable to kidnapping and possible attacks.

Archive - Haitian Police - JOSE A. IGLESIAS / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

Archive - Haitian Police - JOSE A. IGLESIAS / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO© Provided by News 360

The evacuation order comes just two months after the UN Security Council voted to extend the mandate of its Integrated Office in Haiti for a year and expand its staff, 'Miami Herald' has learned.

However, UN Secretary General António Guterres has condemned the violence in all its forms that has occurred in the country in recent weeks and has called on all actors to collaborate in de-escalating the situation and ensure "a return to calm".

As detailed by the General Secretariat in a statement, the head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Helen La Lime, continues to intensify its good relations with government representatives, political actors, civil society groups and private sector stakeholders.

All this, in particular, in search of a commitment to a "peaceful transition" leading to the restoration of democratically elected institutions.

MINUSTAH has continued to encourage Haitian stakeholders to engage in constructive discussions on ways to chart a common path forward and will continue to support Haitian-led efforts to achieve a consensual transition agreement, the UN has detailed.

In addition, following attacks on UN-backed warehouses in different Haitian cities, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Haiti, Ulrika Richardson, has called for safe access for humanitarian workers and supplies.

She has also highlighted the "important" contribution of international and local NGOs, stressing that they often work "in volatile and dangerous situations throughout the country," as many of these organizations have been directly targeted by looters.

The wave of protests that began in Haiti a few weeks ago has left the country "paralyzed" and has caused a worsening of the already dire humanitarian situation, according to the UN, which detects timid efforts to return to normality in recent days.

Insecurity and the rising cost of living underlie this social unrest, exacerbated by the withdrawal of fuel subsidies decreed by the Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, who took the reins of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after the assassination in July 2021 of the then President, Jovenel Moise.

Reference: News 360: Daniel Stewart

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