Haiti wants more international support

NEW YORK, USA, September 29, 2006 – Haiti’s ambassador to the United Nations wants donors to live up to their promises and support the poverty-stricken country in it effort to foster stability and economic growth.

Ambassador Léo Mérorès, in his address to the just-concluded 61st UN General Assembly, stated, “In the long-term, the financial aid from the international community will facilitate the consolidation of democracy and will help us to establish the basis for sustainable development.”

Mérorès also expressed gratitude for international assistance to Haiti to date, pledging that with this continued global backing, “my country will attain its goals.”

The ambassador’s comments come as the global right organization, Amnesty International, urged Haitian authorities to do more to tackle gun violence in the country in light of the killing on September 21 of Bruner Esterne, president of the Grand Ravine Community Council for Human Rights.

AI yesterday urged the Rene Preval administration to take the necessary measures to investigate the killing of Esterne and to bring his killers and the perpetrators of the Grand Ravine and Martissant massacres to justice.

The 38-year-old activist was reportedly an eyewitness of a massacre which took place on August 20, 2005 in the Port-au-Prince’s neighborhood of Martissant, in which at least 20 people were killed and many others were injured. The massacre was allegedly perpetrated by members of the armed gang “Little Machete Army” backed by rogue police officers.

“Bruner is Haiti’s latest victim of a culture of gun violence. His death demonstrates the urgent need for the government to implement a broad disarmament program,” said Kerrie Howard, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Americas Program. “Gun violence is taking thousands of lives across Haiti. It is time for the Haitian authorities to deal with the issue more effectively.”

Mérorès in his address to the Assembly said government had launched a program aimed at generating jobs in order to provide relief to the suffering masses in the country and eliminate the roots of gang recruitment. And he added the new democratically elected government was working with all concerned to achieve social cohesion and political reconciliation.


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