Actualitรฉ

๐‡๐š๐ข๐ญ๐ข: ๐ˆ๐ง ๐๐จ๐ซ๐ญ-๐š๐ฎ-๐๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ž – ๐†๐š๐ง๐  ๐ฏ๐ข๐จ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฑ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘,๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž

March 22, 2024
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

The Port-au-Prince region, which more than 33,000 people are fleeing in an attempt to escape gang violence, woke up on Friday to charred corpses in its streets, following attacks by gunmen and a police operation.

Several bodies were seen in the capital’s downtown area and in Delmas, in its suburbs, at a time when the country is still awaiting the announcement of the composition of its future transitional authorities.

One resident reported seeing lifeless bodies in Pรฉtion-Ville, also in the suburbs.

On Friday, a precarious calm reigned in the capital after a day marked by several assaults by armed men and a police operation which led to the death of a gang leader, Ernst Julmรฉ alias “Ti Grรจg”. The latter had escaped from prison in early March.

Some roads remained barricaded and very few vehicles were on the road. Most public administration offices remained closed, as did schools and universities.

The UN has expressed alarm at the humanitarian crisis: some 5 million people, almost half the population, are facing high levels of “acute food insecurity”.

“One person in two is now hungry. Rising hunger is fuelling the security crisis ravaging the country. We need urgent action now”, warned Jean-Martin Bauer, Director of the World Food Program (WFP) in Haiti.

– Internally displaced people –

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 33,000 people have fled the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area in the past two weeks to seek safety from escalating attacks.

They have mainly headed for the Grand Sud departments, which are already home to 116,000 displaced people who fled in recent months.

These “provinces do not have sufficient infrastructure and the host communities do not have sufficient resources to enable them to cope with these massive displacement flows from the capital”, said the IOM.

Many of these more than 33,000 people were already internally displaced, sometimes several times over.

Haiti, which was already experiencing a deep political and security crisis, has been in the grip of renewed violence since the beginning of the month, when several gangs joined forces to attack strategic locations in Port-au-Prince, claiming they wanted to overthrow Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

The latter was unable to return to his country after a trip to Kenya. According to corroborating sources, he is now in California, having left Puerto Rico.

Henry agreed to resign on March 11, and since then negotiations have been underway to form transitional authorities.

But in the meantime, armed gangs are stepping up their attacks in the capital, of which they already control some 80%.

– Humanitarian aid –

“In recent days, the gangs have advanced into new areas of the capital,” said Ulrika Richardson, UN humanitarian coordinator for the country, on Thursday.

The future transitional presidential council, whose creation was decided at an emergency meeting in Jamaica of several countries and organizations with Haitian representatives, is still awaited.

Among other things, this body will be responsible for appointing an interim Prime Minister.

For the time being, Haiti remains without a president or parliament: the last head of state, Jovenel Moรฏse, was assassinated in 2021. And the country has not seen any elections since 2016.

Kenya, which was due to send a thousand police officers to Haiti as part of a UN-backed mission, announced that it was suspending the deployment in view of the situation.

“Dealing with the violence in Haiti will be a litmus test for the unity and sustainability of the new government”, wrote the International Crisis Group think tank.

“The new authorities should resume talks with foreign partners to speed up the deployment of the multinational security mission” and, in the meantime, try to provide the police with the equipment they need to try to regain control of the port and main highways, he added.

Humaniterre with AFP

AFP photo credits

 

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