Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-youtube-star-yourfellowarab-allegedly-kidnapped-in-haiti-for-$600,000-ransom-while-en-route-to-meet-gang-leader-barbecueAlert – YouTube star YourFellowArab allegedly kidnapped in Haiti for $600,000 ransom while en route to meet gang leader Barbecue

Social media star YourFellowArab has been taken hostage in Haiti by one of the gangs who have become de-facto leaders in the midst of the violence that has ravaged the Caribbean island. 

YourFellowArab, whose real name is Addison Pierre Maalouf, was on the island to interview the man known popularly as Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cerisier, the most powerful gang leader in the country. 

On March 14, Maalouf was taken by a gang known as the 400 Mawozo, led by kingpin Lanmo 100 jou, who is on the FBI most wanted list. Maalouf is being held for a ransom of $600,000. 

Around $40,000 has been paid so far to the hostage takers, reports Haiti24. A Haitian colleague was also taken. 

Maalouf, who is of Lebanese descent, is based in Atlanta. On his official website, Maalouf refers to himself as a ‘comedian, pro player and content creator… Man of the people.’ 

One of Maalouf’s colleagues, Twitch stream Lalem, confirmed in an X post that his friend had been taken hostage. He ended the message on a positive note saying: ‘He’ll be out soon.’ 

YourFellowArab, whose real name is Addison Pierre Maalouf, was on the island to interview the man known popularly as Jimmy 'Barbecue' Cerisier, shown here

YourFellowArab, whose real name is Addison Pierre Maalouf, was on the island to interview the man known popularly as Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cerisier, shown here

Maalouf, shown here on his Instagram page, is based in Atlanta

Maalouf, shown here on his Instagram page, is based in Atlanta 

Lalem reposted the last video that Maalouf posted, showing him in Haiti. He tells viewers about the dangers of being in the country at the present time. 

Maalouf says that his crew intended to travel to Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince but that they were waiting to leave in the early hours of the morning so that they would arrive there in day light. 

‘All it takes is one stupid gang member holding an AK-47 for one thing to go wrong,’ he tells his followers. 

Lalem also asked those with Maalouf’s phone number not to text him for his own safety. 

When Maalouf left for Haiti he tweeted: ‘Going on another one of those trips. If I die, thanks for watching what I’ve put out. If I live, all glory to God.’ 

The FBI is offering a reward of $1 million for information that results in the arrest of Lanmo 100 jou. 

He’s accused of kidnapping of 17 Christian Missionaries in Haiti, including five children, one as young as 8 months old in October 2021. 

As a result of that crime, he is charged with conspiracy to commit hostage taking and hostage taking in the US. 

The FBI is offering a reward of $1 million for information that results in the arrest of Lanmo 100 jou, shown here. He's thought to be behind the kidnapping of YourFellowArab

The FBI is offering a reward of $1 million for information that results in the arrest of Lanmo 100 jou, shown here. He’s thought to be behind the kidnapping of YourFellowArab

 On Thursday, a UN rights expert for the conflict-wracked Caribbean nation said the country was in need of between 4,000 and 5,000 international police to tackle ‘catastrophic’ gang violence which is targeting key individuals and hospitals, schools, banks and other critical institutions. 

Last July, William O’Neill said Haiti needed between 1,000 and 2,000 international police trained to deal with gangs. 

Today, he said the situation is so much worse that double that number and more are needed to help the Haitian National Police regain control of security and curb human rights abuses.

O’Neill spoke at a news conference launching a UN Human Rights Office report he helped produce which called for immediate action to tackle the ‘cataclysmic’ situation in Haiti where corruption, impunity and poor governance compounded by increasing gang violence have eroded the rule of law and brought state institutions ‘close to collapse.’

The report, covering the five-month period ending in February, said gangs continue to recruit and abuse boys and girls, with some children being killed for trying to escape.

Gangs also continue to use sexual violence ‘to brutalize, punish and control people,’ the report said, citing women raped during gang attacks in neighborhoods, ‘in many cases after seeing their husbands killed in front of them.’

In 2023, the number of people killed and injured as a result of gang violence increased significantly – with 4,451 killed and 1,668 injured, the report said. And up to March 22 this year, the numbers skyrocketed to 1,554 killed and 826 injured.

As a result of the escalating gang violence, so-called ‘self-defense brigades’ have taken justice into their own hands, the report said, and ‘at least 528 cases of lynching were reported in 2023 and a further 59 in 2024.’

A woman is comforted by others at a crime scene where the bodies of several people, who were shot dead earlier in the morning amid an escalation in gang violence, were being removed by an ambulance, in Port-au-Prince

A woman is comforted by others at a crime scene where the bodies of several people, who were shot dead earlier in the morning amid an escalation in gang violence, were being removed by an ambulance, in Port-au-Prince

Ezechiel Alexandre, alleged gang leader of Baz Pilat, gathers with residents in the Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood, which was deserted due to gang violence

Ezechiel Alexandre, alleged gang leader of Baz Pilat, gathers with residents in the Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood, which was deserted due to gang violence

People burn garbage close to the bodies of the dead as at least 10 bodies of gang members lie in the streets following the exchange of gunfire between armed gangs in Petion-Ville

People burn garbage close to the bodies of the dead as at least 10 bodies of gang members lie in the streets following the exchange of gunfire between armed gangs in Petion-Ville

 The human rights report reiterated the need for urgent deployment of a multinational security mission to help Haiti’s police stop the violence and restore the rule of law. 

And it urged tighter national and international controls to stem the trafficking of weapons and ammunition to gangs and others – much of it from the United States.

O’Neill, who was appointed by the Geneva-based U.N. human rights chief, said the ‘alarming’ targeting of key institutions and individuals began in the last four or five weeks – with 18 attacks on hospitals documented, attacks on schools including one set on fire three days ago, and one of Haiti’s elite academic institutions set ablaze on Wednesday night. 

Gangs have also stormed Haiti’s two biggest prisons.

In addition, he said, gangs have made two attempts to take control of the National Palace, and they are targeting human rights defenders, journalists and people they see as threats to their continuing control of territory.

Another new element documented by the U.N. human rights team in Haiti, O’Neill said, is the use of children not only as messengers, lookouts, sex slaves and cooks, but young teenagers are now involved in frontline activities and attacks in numbers not seen before. 

The closure of the airport and roads has also left about 1.4 million Haitians on the verge of famine. 

And the number of people fleeing their homes has increased from 50,000 last July according to the U.N. International Organization for Migration to at least 362,000, ‘and I would say given the last three to four weeks, we’re probably close to 400,000 if not over that,’ the U.N. envoy said.

O’Neill said re-establishing security is key, and getting the international security force on the ground in Haiti is critical and urgent.

Getting the transitional presidential council officially installed and active is also ‘crucial’ and ‘absolutely vital,’ O’Neill said, expressing hope this could happen possibly next week. 

For one thing, Kenya’s President William Ruto has said he won’t deploy police to lead the multinational security operation until he has a Haitian counterpart, the U.N. expert said.

O’Neill said the trust fund to finance the international police operation also desperately needs funds. 

Haiti asked for an international force to combat gangs in October 2022, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for a force last July, he said.

‘We’re still waiting and every day lost means more people die, and more women and girls get raped, and more people flee their homes,’ O’Neill said. ‘So the sooner the better.’