Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fleeing gangs set up new bases in rural Haiti

Reuters report on heavily armed gangs who have left Cite Soleil following publicized raids by UN Peacekeepers in the past weeks.

'Reports from other provincial cities, including Les Cayes in the south, also indicate armed gangs hunted by U.N. soldiers in the capital have tried to set up in rural areas where the police or U.N. presence is absent or very weak.'

While this UN military-police action might have solved problems in one area, it clearly created a host of new- and seemingly unanticipated- problems elsewhere. The comment by UN officials illustrated these 'unexpected outcomes': the primary goal of the sweeps was not to capture gang leaders but to take control of areas held by gangs and give residents a sense of security.