Dear Haiti Friends,
It’s still difficult to get accurate news from Haiti, but the following seems to have happened:
1. Mirebalais: After the attack on the Partners in Health/University Hospital in Mirebalais at the end of last week, the local police and a number of young men from the are went after the gangs in Mirebalais over the weekend with very brutal results. The number of gang members in Mirebalais who are dead varies, according to reports, from a dozen to thirty to fifty. Whether this means that friends in Mirebalais, many of who have been camped together in temporary shelters, can return home remains a question. While we understand why people pushed to the brink may take justice into their own hands in violent ways, we lament that those who participate in atrocities are scarred forever by what they have done, even in a good cause.
2. The Episcopal Church: There is a report that the courts have just exonerated the Episcopal Church and the clergy who were accused of participating in Vundla Sikhumbuzo’s arms deals. The investigation included a forensic audit of church financial records. The question of continuing to associate with Sikhumbuzo after he was fired by the church does not seem to have been resolved, but of course the biggest question was the supplying of arms to gangs, most notably the notorious G-9 gang. We are relieved that this step has apparently been accomplished. Sikhumbuzo has still not been located.
3. The UN: This does not just seem to have happened, but actually HAS happened — the UN voted yesterday to provide backing for the Haitian police and security for hospitals, schools, roads, and so on, led by Kenyan forces. How quickly it will be put into action is not yet clear.
In other words, there’s news, but we aren’t absolutely certain in some cases exactly what it means. It might mean glimmers of hope, maybe.