Haitian officials requested foreign security assistance on Friday in a document signed by Prime Minister Ariel Henry, warning of the risk of a significant humanitarian crisis amid growing unrest. Haiti urges intel security assistance warning of humanitarian crisis

Iran PressAfrica: Haiti is facing widespread unrest over shortages of essential goods and has warned of a potential "humanitarian crisis."

Haitian officials requested foreign security assistance on Friday in a document signed by Prime Minister Ariel Henry warning of "the risk of a major humanitarian crisis.''

The document authorized Henry to request international troops to help reign in growing lawlessness in the country.

Henry requested "the immediate deployment of a specialized armed force, in sufficient quantity," to tackle the issue of  the "criminal actions of armed gangs.''

It wasn't immediately clear whether the request had been formally submitted or from which country Haiti was requesting assistance.  

The United Nations said Friday it had not yet received an official request from the Haitian government.

"We remain extremely concerned about the security situation in Haiti, the impact it's having on the Haitian people, on our ability to do our work, especially in the humanitarian sphere," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. 

Bocchit Edmond, Haiti's ambassador to the United States, told AFP news agency that the country is "waiting on the international community and the international partners to decide what kind of form that assistance will be."

The ambassador added that foreign assistance does not amount to an "occupation" of Haiti but rather a "call to solidarity" in the face of a "human tragedy."

Fuel shortages have knock-on effects on medical supplies and other essential items. 

A shortage of potable water has also unleashed a new cholera outbreak.

In unclear circumstances, the late President Jovenel Moise was assassinated at his home in July of 2021. The security situation in Haiti has deteriorated considerably in the 15 months since Moise's death.

Gangs have blocked Varreux, a fuel port in the capital, delaying fuel deliveries and provoking shortages. In recent weeks, there has been looting and protests against the government of Ariel Henry, who has held onto power for more than a year.


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