UN split over sending an international force to crisis-hit Haiti

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By Euronews
Gang violence in Haiti is rampant
Gang violence in Haiti is rampant   -   Copyright  Odelyn Joseph/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved

The United Nations is split over whether to send an international force to help Haiti after its government issued a "distress call".

Haiti is facing dire shortages of basic goods and a paralysis of economic activity due to the blockade of a fuel terminal by gangs, which has halted transport and left many without food or clean drinking water amid an outbreak of cholera. 

Mexico and the US have proposed the idea but Russia and China have expressed reservations.

"I have the sensitive mission of bringing to the [UN] Security Council the distress call from the entire people, who are suffering and to say loudly and clearly that the people of Haiti are not living," said Jean Victor Geneus, Haiti's foreign affairs minister. "They are surviving. 

"I speak to you on behalf of four million children who could not go to school because of gang violence," Geneus added. 

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this month suggested sending in a "rapid-action force", according to a letter seen by Reuters.