Haiti legalizes 38,000 firearms obtained through black market, PM

Published on by Darsen Roger (author)

Haitian Prime minister Enex Jean-Charles in blue shirt, speaking during a recent event at his office (photo: )
Haitian Prime minister Enex Jean-Charles in blue shirt, speaking during a recent event at his office

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- Haiti's government has announced that some 38,000 firearms, traded on the black market, were legalized as part of an effort to control the large quantity of illegal weapons in circulation in the impoverished Caribbean country.

Prime minister Enex Jean-Charles said on Thursday that a process to legalize illegal weapons was launched by the high command of the Haitian National Police (HNP) as instructed by the High Council of the National Police, chaired by the Prime minister himself.

"The Haitian police has set up a system to legalize legalizable weapons and to date, 38,000 weapons have already been legalized and the process continues," Jean-Charles told reporters on Thursday.

"There are a lot of illegal weapons in circulation. We have reinforced the capacity of the police so that they may have control of the situation," said Jean-Charles.

The Haitian Prime minister explained that he has met with top officials from the border police and customs to prevent wrongdoers from smuggling weapons into the country, as he announced that measures have been put in place to prosecute violators.

There was a US arms embargo on Haiti. The embargo had been in place for many years. However, the Secretary of State for Public Safety, former Col. Himler Rébu, announced on Friday that the embargo was lifted by Washington.

Several expert reports show that tens of thousands of illegal weapons are in circulation in the country.

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Haiti ranked at No. 118, according to the specialized website Gunpolicy.org.

 

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