From the United States to Haiti: The Urgent Need for Weapon Controls in the Fight Against 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 pushing for an end to the flow of illicit firearms to criminal gangs, especially 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.

Ducena highlighted how 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. She stressed that if the United States and 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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