Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Surge Of UN Soldiers In Ouanaminthe After Death Of Chilean

Haiti: Surge of UN soldiers in Ouanaminthe after death of Chilean
United Nations checkpoint in Ouanaminthe, Haiti
United Nations checkpoint in Ouanaminthe, Haiti
OUANAMINTHE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) - Citizens in the districts of Mapou and Dilaire in Ouanaminthe are denouncing searches, without warrant or justice of the peace presence, into their homes and are alleging beatings and other forms of brutality by the Haitian National Police who are being reinforced by a United Nations deployment into the area as of Thursday.

The United Nations soldiers from the Uruguayan battalion, based in the Northeast Department, and a Brazilian battalion of the United Nations Police (UNPOL) is said to have descended upon the town in search of those responsible for the death of a peacekeeper, killed during protests on April 13, 2015, and to prevent residents of the region from demonstrating, with violence, for potable water, electricity and a lowered cost of living.

Descending onto the town of Ouanaminthe since April 16 and according to correspondents, their presence have inspired fear in the population and the curiosity of some who watch them intercept vehicles and pedestrians traveling on National Highway No. 6, and the areas around the district of Mapou.

Alterpresse reports that two people had been arrested on Friday in the locality where a Chilean in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti was shot dead. The names of those arrested had not been revealed.

Agents of MINUSTAH are calling on residents in the area to share information with authorities that would lead to the arrest of the shooter(s), and according to Alterpresse, have also instituted an APB for four young boys and are distributing sketches towards those ends.

Among those arrested since April 13 is a popular senatorial candidate, Dr. Claude Joazard, who is accused of inciting violence, for having told the population prior, the only way to get Haitian authorities and international agencies, who promised electricity, was to mobilize. Dr. Joazard was arrested when the protests turned violent but far from the scene, without warrant, or in flagrant delicto. He was heard on April 15 by the government commissioner at the court of first instance of Fort-Liberté, Herod Bien-Aime.

On the same day of protests, an officer of the National Police, Joseph Lafrance Laforest, was shot and wounded by unidentified individuals.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, requested a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances and persons involved in the death of the Chilean United Nations soldier, Rodrigo Andrés Soto Sanhueza. Honoré and the Haitian government have launched an appeal for calm.

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