It is with great sadness that NCHR offers its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the individuals who lost their lives in the violence and terror that has gripped Port-au-Prince during the past few days. Our condolences are also extended to the Haitian National Police as an institution as they deal with the loss of several of their fellow officers and comrades.
NCHR is disturbed by the level of violence and strongly denounces the increasing insecurity throughout the country in general, but specifically the recent events in the capital.
In part, NCHR holds the interim government responsible. The death and destruction are the logical consequences of the extensive proliferation of weapons in the city coupled by the ubiquitous existence of impunity, factors which this government has failed to adequately address.
More than six (6) months after being installed in the National Palace, the Boniface-LaTortue government has failed to serious tackle the task of disarming all illegally armed groups – neither Lavalas gangs nor the former Haitian military – circulating throughout the country. Additionally no concrete, systematic action has been taken to re-apprehend the more than three thousand (3,000) prisoners that were liberated from prisons across the country on and/or just prior to 29 February 2004. Furthermore, no measures have been taken to reinforce and strengthen the Haitian National Police, such as better equipping the police to carry out their mission to protect and serve the Haitian people.
Finally, NCHR has yet to understand the role of the United Nations mission in Haiti as the violence augments despite their presence in the country. It was understood that one (1) of MUNISTAH’s critical roles would be to accompany the Haitian police in an extensive disarmament campaign – a campaign that has yet to commence.
Too much blood has been shed and too many lives have been taken. Reactive responses are not enough. NCHR passionately encourages all authorities concerned to assume their responsibilities to ensure that no more blood is shed in the streets of Port-au-Prince or in any town or community across the country.