Controlling Illegal Weapon Exports: A Step Towards Reducing Violence in Haiti

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

For decades, civil society groups and human rights advocates in Haiti have been calling for an end to the illegal arms trade that supplies criminal gangs, particularly from the United States. The country has no weapons or ammunition factories, so the guns causing violence and sorrow in Haiti are imported from elsewhere, mainly from the US.

The recent surge in deadly gang attacks in Port-au-Prince has brought renewed 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, stressed the urgency of addressing the influx of weapons into Haiti.

Ducena pointed out that various types of firearms, including handguns, semi-automatic weapons, and even military-style weapons, are entering Haiti with little oversight due to weak state institutions, corruption, and challenges in monitoring the country’s vast coastline. She emphasized that the United States must take responsibility for controlling the export of weapons from their country to help address this issue.

If other countries and especially the US are willing to assist Haiti, one important step they could take is to tighten controls on the export of firearms to prevent them from falling into the hands of criminal gangs in Haiti. This would be a positive step towards reducing insecurity and violence caused by illegal arms imports into the country.

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