16 March 2007Close on the heals of the capture of one of Haiti’s most notorious criminal armed gang leaders, United Nations peacekeepers and Haitian police have reported new successes in their crackdown on violent crime in Port-au-Prince, the capital, dismantling one group, arresting three dozen more suspects and seizing weapons caches. In one of the latest operations, 32 suspects were arrested in the Linteau 1 and Ti Ayiti quarters of the capital’s Cité Soleil neighbourhood, one of the violence-ridden country’s most dangerous areas, leading to the dismantling of the Blade Nazon and the seizure of arms and ammunition. The operation was launched after UN troops on patrol came under fire. In a second operation in Ti Ayiti on Wednesday based on a tip-off, another gang member was captured and more weapons seized. The same day, five people were arrested in a sweep in Martissant.Noting that local tip-offs led to the capture of notorious gang leader Even Jeune, who terrorized Cité Soleil and was for months being pursued by UN and Haitian police, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has appealed to local communities for information on any criminals who may have sought refuge in their region.“We ask the people of the provinces to be vigilant and to continue to give us information on any person, any act or any behaviour that may be suspect,” UN police spokesman Fred Blaise told a news conference in Port-au-Prince yesterday.Meanwhile MINUSTAH, set up in 2004 to help re-establish peace in the impoverished Caribbean country after an insurgency forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile, is continuing its humanitarian and social programmes in Cité Soleil in connection with the clean-up of the gangs, organizing children’s sports in Linteau 1, and providing meals, water, first aid and school supplies.
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