(CNN) -- A U.N. report released Tuesday details how a wave of violence is sweeping through rural Haiti, with gang raids on villages and alarming levels of food insecurity caused by attacks on farmers in the country.

The report, by the U.N. Human Rights Office and the U.N. Integrated Office in Haiti, reveals a stark analysis of the gangs' deployment in the impoverished nation, which has seen deepening unrest since the 2021 assassination of then-President Jovenel Moise.

Previously, the focus had been mainly on Port-au-Prince, the capital, where warring gangs have forced thousands of people from their homes and set up makeshift camps across the city. The U.N. report focuses on Bas-Artibonite, Haiti's rice production hub about 100 kilometers from the capital, where more than 20 "extremely violent" criminal groups are now fighting for territory, according to the report. Some 1,690 people were killed, injured or abducted from January 2022 until last month, the UN added.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, highlighted in a statement the "terrible violence that is spreading against the population – inside and outside Port-au-Prince – and the inability of the police to stop it."

"The situation in Haiti is catastrophic," he said. "We continue to receive reports of killings, sexual violence, displacement and other types of violence, including in hospitals," she said.


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The report calls for the urgent deployment of the multinational support mission authorized by the UN Security Council last month and the reinforcement of Haiti's police. The force is expected to be led by Kenya, which has pledged 1,000 police for the mission, though deployment has been blocked by legal challenges.

"The much-needed Multinational Security Support mission must be deployed in Haiti as soon as possible," Türk said in the statement.

According to the report, violence increased dramatically in the Artibonite region towards the end of last year, with gangs and anti-gangs now vying for control of territory. There were at least 110 gang attacks in rival villages from January 2022 to last month, with a display of "extreme brutality," including beheadings, rapes and kidnappings, according to the report.

Blatant attacks in broad daylight on some of the area's busiest roads are also common, according to the report, with more than 85 people killed by gang members who erected barricades or ambushed public transport vehicles from the side of the road.

Farmers and their properties have also become "prime targets" for gangs, according to the report, whose members occupy fields and force farmers to pay taxes to gain access to them. "Those who dare to protest are beaten and killed, or have their crops and livestock stolen," the UN recorded.

In April, the World Food Programme observed a reduction of almost 5,000 hectares of crops in three communes in the Lower Artibonite "due to the forced displacement of agricultural labour".

More than 45% of the population living in Artibonite is considered acutely food insecure, the program found last September.

"As demonstrated by the current dynamics in the Bas-Artibonite region, particularly around the issue of agricultural property, a police and judicial response will not be sufficient to protect the human rights of the population," the report said. "The longer it takes to deploy a specialized international force, the stronger the response will have to be."