Monday, August 14, 2006
Surrender your weapons or be killed This was the ultimatum issued by Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis to the nations armed gangs who have been terrorizing residents in the countys capital Port au Prince. " Surrender your weapons and enter the DDR program," the Prime Minister said. "If you refuse, you'll be killed." These comments, delivered before the countrys legislative assembly, marked the first ultimatum to gang leaders from the newly installed government of President Rene Preval.
By the DDR, the Prime Minister was referring to Demobilization, Disarmament and Reinsertion program run by U.N. peacekeepers aimed at stabilizing Haiti and curbing political and gang related violence. Despite the presence of the peacekeepers, violence in Haiti has increased sharply since February. According to official reports at least 100 people have been shot dead in Port-au-Prince over the last two months and about 400 others have been injured by gunshots.