The Call for Tough Arms Control: Voices from Haiti

Publication date

09 Jan 2006

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Port au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, despite the presence of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). 1 Armed groups in the poor areas - some loyal to former President Aristide, some loyal to rival political factions, and some criminal gangs - have battled against the Haitian National Police (HNP) and UN military, and against each other. In just one medical mission in Port-au-Prince, some 1,400 people were admitted with gunshot wounds between December 2004 and October 2005. 'We're still receiving three gunshot victims a day. And there are more who go to the general [university] hospital - or who are killed,' said the mission's head, Ali Besnaci of Medecins sans Frontieres. 'This is like a war. There are always confrontations between the gangs and the UN peacekeeping force, MINUSTAH'. Many, if not most, of the victims have been innocent civilians. Irresponsible arms transfers still fuel atrocities in Haiti and in many other countries. Responsible arms exporters and arms-affected states must not be held back by the few states that want to impede progress. In 2006, they must begin negotiations to agree an ATT.