Breaking the Cycle of Violence: The Urgent Need for Weapon Control in Haiti

US weapons enabling gang violence in Haiti: The criminal economy fueling deadly conflicts | Update from Armed Groups

In recent years, there has been a growing demand from human rights advocates and civil society groups in Haiti for an end to the supply of illicit firearms to criminal gangs, particularly from the United States. Despite having no weapons or ammunition factories, the weapons that are causing violence and mourning in Haiti are coming from elsewhere, mainly from the United States.

The surge in deadly gang attacks in Port-au-Prince has once again brought attention to this issue. Rosy Auguste Ducena, a lawyer and programme director at the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH), a prominent Haitian rights group, emphasized the need for action on this front.

Various types of firearms, including handguns, semi-automatic, and even military-style weapons, are entering Haiti with little to no oversight due to weak state institutions, corruption, and challenges in monitoring the country’s vast coastline. Ducena highlighted the importance of the United States taking responsibility for controlling the export of weapons from their country to help address this issue.

If the United States and other countries are willing to assist Haiti, one important step they could take is to tighten controls on the export of firearms to prevent them from reaching criminal gangs in Haiti. This would be a positive step towards addressing the insecurity and violence caused by the flow of illicit weapons into the country.

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