UN Security Council Weighs Urging Haiti Elections as Chaos Grows

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(Bloomberg) -- The United Nations Security Council is weighing a statement that would press for free and fair elections in Haiti without calling for Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign, according to a draft obtained by Bloomberg News.

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The statement would call on everyone involved “to engage constructively in meaningful negotiations to allow the holding of free and fair legislative and presidential elections as soon as necessary conditions are met,” according to the draft. “They stressed the need to create security conditions conducive to an inclusive political process, and free and fair elections in Haiti.”

The non-binding statement would mark the latest effort by the international community to address the dire political and security situation in Haiti, which has descended into chaos after gangs turned the capital Port-au-Prince into a war zone and freed thousands of prisoners. Henry has been stranded in Puerto Rico since Monday, and many of the gangs say he shouldn’t be allowed to return.

Read More: Gang-Riven Haiti’s Absent Leader Reemerges in Puerto Rico

Security Council members were given until 6 p.m. New York time to provide comments on the draft statement, according to a person familiar with the matter. Once suggestions are taken into account, the council will decide whether or not to release it.

Amid the violence, interim Prime Minister Patrick Michel Boivert extended a nighttime curfew through April 3. The measure also outlaws street protests.

The Security Council draft also addresses the urgent need for the deployment of a Kenya-led multinational police force to the Caribbean nation. While Kenya says it’s prepared to send 1,000 police, the Bahamas, Benin, Jamaica and others have also said they would provide security forces. The US has said it will not put boots on the ground, but has pledged $200 million to the effort.

Members would stress the urgent need to support the Multinational Security Support Mission “in the form of financial, personnel, and in-kind commitments,” according to the draft.

--With assistance from Jim Wyss.

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