Joe Biden Speaking from the White House
US President Joe Biden delivered televised remarks on the US auto workers strikes from the White House. AFP

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged the U.N. Security Council to authorize a multilateral force to deploy to Haiti, which was dealing with surging gang violence.

During his speech at the UN General Assembly, the president asked the UN Security Council to "authorize this mission now" as the people of Haiti "cannot wait much longer," WLRN reported.

Biden's speech came weeks after Kenya said it will consider leading the force, if it gets a mandate from the UN Security Council. However, the proposal is yet to get support from member countries Russia and China.

"On Haiti, the Caribbean communities facilitated a dialogue among Haitian society," Biden said, addressing the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York. "I thank President Ruto of Kenya – I thank him for his willingness to serve as a lead nation of a U.N.-backed security support mission."

In August, the leader of the G9 Family and Allies gang alliance, Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier, had issued a warning that if any foreign force arrived in Haiti, the former would "fight against them until our last breath."

The warning came after prime minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, asked for international help amid surging gang violence in the country that was disrupting millions of Haitians on a daily basis.

So far, more than 2,400 people have been killed in the Caribbean country due to gang violence, the U.N. said last month, News18 reported. The capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, was almost 80% under gang control causing kidnappings for ransom, carjackings, rape, and armed theft.

President Biden's speech took place one day after a top U.N. official, William O'Neill, asked Dominican Republic authorities to re-open its borders with Haiti.

The Dominican Republic had closed its border with Haiti last week, following the latter's plan to build a canal on the Massacre River -- shared between both countries -- which violates several border treaties.

O'Neill asked the Dominican Republic to use diplomacy to resolve the shared river dispute with Haiti instead of closing the border otherwise it would create "serious impacts on people on both sides of the border," Jamaica Observer reported.

"Directors of medical clinics in Haiti have told me that they will not be able to care for their patients if access to the Dominican Republic is cut off," the U.N. official said. "Lives are at stake."

However, Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader said the land, air, and sea borders will remain closed with Haiti until the canal project was stopped.

"The measures will be in force until we achieve the definitive stoppage of the canal under construction," the president said on Sunday in a televised address. The Dominican Republic's government also reacted to O'Neill's comments and called them "biased and unfortunate."

Besides closing the border, the Dominican government has also suspended Haiti visas and closed the Dajabon crossing, which was used to trade between the countries.

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