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‘The Lives of Haitians Ought To Count … We Are Human Beings’

April 5, 2024 (EIRNS)—On April 3, well-known Haitian journalist Roberson Alphonse, who writes for the daily Le Nouvelliste, posted on X that “Haitians are human beings. Our blood is red, like all human beings. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should take our rights into account. #Stop the cynicism.” But Alphonse is hard-nosed in describing what he calls the “holocaust” of Haiti’s civilian population—the destruction of homes, schools and national institutions, hospitals, pharmacies, anything associated with Haitian history and culture. Gangs just looted Haiti’s National Library, destroying invaluable material related to the country’s history.

There has been no school for 9 weeks, and half the population suffer from gut-wrenching poverty, starvation and displacement. As Alphonse noted in an April 3 article there are the children, wantonly raped and killed as their future is “murdered,” yet some still cling to their dreams, of learning about “art, culture and mathematics.” And the “international community"? They are busy “with other things,” Alphonse observes.

Despite countless “information meetings” for three weeks, the UN Security Council has yet to issue a resolution on Haiti. The much ballyhooed transitional presidential council, established to name an interim prime minister, is still bogged down in disagreements. Joe Biden just announced he’s providing $10 million in weapons, ammunition and bulletproof vests for the National Police, after years of offering only “non-lethal” aid, but will it ever arrive, and will it make a difference for the outmanned and outgunned police? Alphonse asks.

In the meantime, over the past three weeks, 53,000 people have left Port-au-Prince, fleeing gang violence and seeking refuge in the southern provinces, which are already housing 116,000 people who had fled there earlier. The region known as the Grand Sud does not have the infrastructure or resources to shelter this number of new arrivals. At the same time, the UN and humanitarian agencies warn of a complete collapse in the delivery of humanitarian aid. Representatives of five aid groups told The Hill they are concerned that the delivery of humanitarian aid can’t go on for much longer, given the gang control of the capital. The country director for Mercy Corps, Laurent Uwumuremyi, warned in a statement, “there are growing concerns that if the security is not restored soon, the little aid that Haiti was getting will no longer be there.”