Haiti’s Battle Against Illegal Firearms: A Call for International Action to Tackle Violence

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

For years, civil society groups and human rights advocates in Haiti have been calling for an end to the influx of illicit firearms into criminal gangs, particularly from the United States. The country has no weapons or ammunition factories, so the weapons that are causing violence and mourning in Haiti are coming from elsewhere, primarily from the United States.

The recent 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 to address the influx of weapons into Haiti.

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 countries like the United States taking responsibility for controlling the export of weapons from their country to help address the issue.

If 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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