Haiti II - EP 1

Duration: 21-Oct-2022 to Present

In response to extremely high levels of gang violence, other criminal activities, kidnappings, trafficking in persons, homicides, and sexual and gender-based violence, as well as the recent blocking of access to and illegal occupation of ports and fuel terminals by armed gangs operating in Haiti, the Security Council unanimously adopted UNSCR 2653 on 21 October 2022. The resolution authorized, for an initial period of one year, the imposition of a travel ban, asset freeze, and a targeted arms imports embargo on those who engage in or support criminal activities and violence involving armed groups and criminal networks that promote violence, support illicit trafficking, finance those activities, violate the arms embargo or human rights, engage in sexual or gender-based violence, obstruct delivery of humanitarian assistance, or attack UN personnel. One of Haiti’s most influential gang leaders, Jimmy Cherizier, was listed in the annex of the resolution for his role in conducting attacks against civilians and actions that directly contributed to the economic paralysis and humanitarian crisis in Haiti, including the occupation of the Varreux Terminal. The resolution also specifically identifies key benchmarks for sanctions review.

This was the first time the UN Security Council declared the activities of criminal networks a threat to international peace and security. The resolution is also notable because of its sweeping humanitarian carve-out and expression of intent “to consider authorizing the Ombudsperson to receive delisting requests,” potentially extending its mandate to sanctions regimes other than the Al-Qaida/ISIL/Associates regime.

In November 2022, Haitian police regained control of the Varreux Terminal which had been held by the G9 alliance of gangs led by the designated gang leader, but new roadblocks were set up by armed gangs elsewhere in the country that continued to disrupt delivery of humanitarian assistance. In a December 2022 briefing, the health situation in Haiti was described as “dire,” as reports of up 14,000 cases of cholera emerged. These estimates increased to 24,000 the following month. The Haitian government appealed for an international specialized force to reinforce its police, but no Member States stepped forward to offer assistance.

An interim agreement for a political transition was reached between Henry and some members of the “Montana Accord” group on 21 December 2022, (the “The National Consensus for an Inclusive Transition and Transparent Elections”), but by April 2023, there were signs that the consensus was fraying (due to criticisms from other members of the “Montana Accord” Group). The July 2023 Secretary-General report stated that gang activity continued and that the levels of insecurity and violence were approaching levels associated with countries in armed conflicts. Vigilante groups formed to counter gang violence, and the level of homicides increased across the country.

The Haitian government repeated its appeal for an international force in June 2023, but given Haiti’s difficult experience with UN peacekeeping operations in the past, disagreements over the nature and mandate of such a force emerged both within the Security Council (from China and Russia) and from within Haiti itself (from some civil society organizations). The political mission (BINUH) was renewed for another year on 14 July 2023, with the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 2692. In August 2023, Kenya offered to provide forces and a reconnaissance mission arrived in Port-au-Prince to follow up on the offer. The sole designee of sanctions, Jimmy Cherizier (AKA “Barbeque”), condemned the idea and threatened to fight any foreign forces deployed in the country. Human Rights Watch reported in late August 2023 that 150 criminal gangs were operating in Port-au-Prince and that 80% of the capital was under gang control.


Coerce armed groups and criminal networks to cease violence, criminal activities, and human rights abuses in the country.


Constrain armed groups and criminal networks from having access to financial resources and arms and related materiel of all types.


Signal support for meaningful negotiations to overcome the political stalemate in the country and to hold free and fair legislative and presidential elections when the security situation permits.


Travel ban against individuals, asset freeze against individuals or entities engaging in violence, criminal activities, and human rights abuses, and a targeted arms imports embargo on designated individuals / entities.

Travel ban:


Asset freeze:


Carve out provision created for humanitarian actors in paragraph 10 of UNSCR (2653). Carve out provisions from UNSCR 2664 (2022) also apply.

Current and maximum number of designees during the episode: 1 individual designee (leader of an alliance of Haitian gangs, G9 Family and Allies).

Current list of sanctions designees:


Potential scope of impact


UN sanctions should have little impact on the general population since they are focused exclusively on specific individuals and entities.

Sanctions were imposed for a limited time period (1 year) to be renewed periodically. Sanctions Committee and Panel of Experts created. Designation criteria were specified and targets designated. Enforcement authorities not specified.

Panel of Experts reports:




Policy outcome

G9 gang blockade of the Varreux Terminal led by the designated individual was terminated, but armed gang activity was redeployed to other locations, and levels of violence increased. The security and humanitarian situations in the country remain dire.

Sanctions contribution

Only one designation was made, and he remains defiant, threatening to fight any foreign forces to address the situation, but police intervention was more important in retaking the fuel terminal.



Policy outcome

No discernible constraints observed yet.

Sanctions contribution

Single designation indicates a focus on gang leadership, but only at the highest level and covering only some of the country’s many gangs. Inter-gang conflict and police activities also important in constraining armed groups and criminal networks.



Policy outcome

An interim transitional political agreement was reached between major political factions in December 2022, but there was evidence of fraying by April 2023 and designation of only one armed group leader.

Sanctions contribution

Other factors, such as internal political dynamics and CARICOM diplomacy were also important in facilitating the political agreement.



No unintended consequences of sanctions observed.



  • Demands an immediate cessation of violence, criminal activities, and human rights abuses which undermine the peace, stability and security of Haiti and the region.
  • Urges all political actors to engage in meaningful negotiations to allow the holding of legislative and presidential elections.
New sanctions
  • Imposes travel ban (1 year) and specifies humanitarian need, judicial process, and peace and stability exemptions.
  • Imposes financial asset freeze (1 year) and specifies exemptions for necessary basic expenses, extraordinary expenses, and expenses subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgment.
  • Exempts payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources necessary to ensure the timely delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance or to support other activities that support basic human needs in Haiti, by the UN, its specialized agencies or programs, humanitarian organizations with UN General Assembly observer status, and their implementing partners from the financial asset freeze.
  • Imposes targeted arms imports embargo on designated individuals and entities (1 year).
  • Delineates designation criteria.
  • Imposes travel ban, asset freeze, and targeted arms embargo on an individual listed in the Annex of the resolution.
Enhanced implementation
  • Calls for inspection of all cargo to Haiti if reasonable grounds for sanctions violation.
  • Encourages regional land, air, and maritime cooperation to prevent arms embargo violations.
Recommended additional measures
  • Encourages MS to ensure adequate arms marking and record keeping.


  • Specifies criteria for optional additions of account payments and interests.
  • Establishes Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Establishes Panel of Experts (13 months) and specifies its mandate.
  • Specifies key benchmarks for adjustment, suspension, or lifting of sanctions.
  • Requests SG to conduct an assessment of progress achieved on the key benchmarks.



  • Decides that the provision, processing or payment of funds, other financial assets, or economic resources, or the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance or to support other activities that support basic human needs is permitted and not in violation of asset freeze imposed by the UNSC or its Sanctions Committees.
  • The exception applies to the United Nations, including its Programmes, Funds and Other Entities and Bodies, as well as its Specialized Agencies and Related Organizations, international organizations, humanitarian organizations having observer status with the United Nations General Assembly and members of those humanitarian organizations, or bilaterally or multilaterally funded non-governmental organizations participating in the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plans, Refugee Response Plans, other United Nations appeals, or OCHA-coordinated humanitarian “clusters,” or their employees, grantees, subsidiaries, or implementing partners while and to the extent that they are acting in those capacities, or by appropriate others as added by any individual Committees established by the UNSC within and with respect to their respective mandates.
  • Requests providers relying on the above exception to use reasonable efforts to minimize the accrual of any benefits prohibited by sanctions, including by strengthening risk management and due diligence strategies and processes.
  • Decides that the above exception will apply to all future asset freezes imposed or renewed by the UNSC in the absence of an explicit decision to the contrary.


  • Clarifies that the above exception supersedes previous resolutions in case of conflict.
  • Clarifies that the above exception replaces paragraph 10 of UNSCR 2653 (humanitarian assistance exception from asset freeze).
  • Requests annual briefing by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator for each relevant Sanctions Committee, including on the provision of funds or resources to designated individuals or entities.
  • Directs Sanctions Committees to issue context-specific Implementation Assistance Notices and monitor the implementation of the exception.
  • Requests the Secretary-General to issue a written report on the unintended adverse humanitarian consequences of UNSC sanctions measures (within 9 months).



[not adopted under Chapter VII]

  • Urges MS to prohibit the supply, sale, or transfer of small arms, light weapons, and ammunition to non-State actors engaged in or supporting gang violence, criminal activities or human rights abuses in Haiti, and prevent their illicit trafficking and diversion.


  • Extends UNSCR 2476 BINUH mandate (until 15.07.2024).
  • Requests SG reporting.