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Avellon Williams 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI- A draft resolution seen by Reuters shows that the Security Council is considering the introduction of sanctions imposing asset freezes, travel bans, and arms embargoes on anyone who threatens Haiti’s peace, security, or stability.

/Image, MH/

Among the first to be sanctioned is Jimmy Cherizier, also known as “Barbecue” and described as Haiti’s most influential gang leader in the US and Mexico-drafted resolution.

According to the draft, “Cherizier and the G9 gang confederation are actively blocking fuel from Varreux’s fuel terminal from moving freely. As a result of his actions, the Haitian economy has been paralyzed and there is a humanitarian crisis.”

As a result of unrest and violence in the country, the US imposed visa restrictions on 11 people.

“Haiti gangs and gang leader Barbecue are directly contributing to the death of Haitians,” a senior US State Department official said.

/Image, MH/

The Varreux entrance was blocked by gangs last month to protest the government’s decision to cut fuel subsidies. The fuel supply has dried up, and Haitians are facing a cholera outbreak that is affecting drinking water supplies.

“One of the challenges in effectively dealing with insecurity is the nexus between the gangs and some of the elites in Haiti and outside of Haiti who support them and direct them for their own purposes,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday in Washington.

U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken /Image, WION/

“We have thus collaborated with the United Nations in order to impose sanctions on those who take actions that support violence and gangs,” he told a joint news conference with Mexican officials.

Foreign military deployment

According to a letter to the Security Council seen by Reuters on Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposes sending “a rapid action force” to help Haiti’s police remove armed gangs from the country.

UN Secretary Antonio Guterres /Image, UNAIDS/

A targeted sanctions threat was issued in July against criminal gangs in Haiti and human rights abusers, and countries were urged to stop the flow of guns to the Caribbean country.

Diplomats say the 15-member Security Council could vote on the draft sanctions resolution as early as Monday. Several votes are required for a resolution to be adopted, as well as the absence of any vetoes from the United States, Russia, China, France, or Britain.

The Chinese government has been pressing the Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Haitian criminal gangs.

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Avellon Williams

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