Haitian cop killed in latest ambush by armed gangs

May 19, 2023

The General Directorate of the National Police of Haiti (PNH) has condemned the attack on a police patrol in Source Matelas, north of the capital earlier this week that left at least one policeman dead and two armoured vehicles set ablaze.

The PNH said that the ambush which occurred during May 17 to 18, resulted in the death of police officer, Roberto Charleston of the Departmental Unit for Maintaining Order (UDMO)  and injury to a member of UDMO West 2.

“The General Directorate of the PNH presents its sympathies to the large police family, to the parents and relatives of this victim police officer in the performance of his duties.

”This criminal act will not remain unpunished. Thus, the actions already taken by the High Command to track down and apprehend the bandits continue, while urging, once again, his brothers in arms to close ranks in this fight and not to be intimidated,” the PNH said in a statement.

A video circulating on social media showed the policeman’s body while the leader of the “5 Seconds” gang, is among those who posed with the victim.

More than 21 police officers were killed in the first three months of the year, according to the United Nations.

Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry said the wind of division, of insecurity, the machine of death will have to stop.

“We are working towards the establishment of peace, towards organising elections,” he added.

Earlier this week, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, while on an official two-day visit to Jamaica, described Haiti as a “tragic situation” and appealed to the international community to do more to help the country overcome its present political and socio-economic conditions.

He said Haiti faces dramatic humanitarian needs, a political system that is paralysed and levels of violence by gangs “that are absolutely appalling.

“The number of people killed, the number of people unable to live their lives, the dramatic food insecurity  problems are indeed something that needs stronger commitment from the international community,” Guterres said

Earlier this month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Volker Türk, said Haiti needs “urgent” support from the international community to stop the suffering of people at the hands of violent gangs who have been shooting people at random and burning them alive.

The UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) said in the month of April alone, more than 600 people were killed in violence in the country’s capital. This follows the killing of at least 846 people in the first three months of 2023.

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