Sunday, 19 May 2024
WorldSeveral shootings at government buildings aggravate the security crisis in Haiti

Several shootings at government buildings aggravate the security crisis in Haiti

Several armed groups have attempted to assault the National Palace of Port-au-Prince in an attack orchestrated by several gangs and that also targeted the Ministry of the Interior and one of the main police stations in the capital of Haiti. The assault has resulted in several attackers killed by the National Police, according to EFE, one week after the declaration of the state of emergency in the country.

According to local media reports, the assailants who died this weekend are part of the coalition of armed gangs led by former police officer Jimmy Cherizier, known as ‘Barbacue’, and considered the most powerful leader of all the opposing groups in Haiti. The attackers tried to set fire to the Ministry of the Interior building, where they were ambushed by police officers. At least 5 vehicles parked in the parking lot and the ministry’s generator were set on fire.

During Friday night, the perimeter of the Campo de Marte, where the main public square of Port-au-Prince is located, in the vicinity of the National Palace, was the scene of violent clashes between law enforcement forces, which created a climate of tension in the surrounding area. for several hours.

Haiti is mired in a security crisis that has worsened in recent weeks. On February 28, armed gangs further intensified violent acts after learning that Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry will wait until the summer of 2025 to call general elections. “Every day that passes brings new horrors,” the head of the United Nations children’s agency in the country told Reuters. “The Haitian population is trapped.”

Since the beginning of this year, 360,000 people have been forcibly displaced within the country to flee violence that, according to the UN, has killed 1,200 people. The country is also facing a wave of kidnappings, torture and rape with access to health services and basic needs completely blocked.

The authorities have not issued any statement regarding the latest attacks, which join others carried out by gangs against public and private institutions in recent days. One of the worst episodes of violence took place last Saturday, when gangs entered the capital’s two main prisons and allowed more than 3,000 prisoners to escape.

Prime Minister Henry has been in Puerto Rico since last Tuesday, after he tried to return to his country after several days without knowing his whereabouts. The prime minister was to have returned to Port-au-Prince from Kenya, where he was negotiating with the government to launch the deployment of a multinational security support mission led by the Nairobi government and approved last October by the United Nations Security Council. United Nations.

Dominican Republic prepares an evacuation plan

Henry, the country’s highest authority after the assassination in 2021 of President Jovenel Moise, is now the subject of pressure both within Haiti and abroad to favor a transition that helps stop the crisis that the country is going through.

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This crisis has already had consequences on the other side of the border, in the Dominican Republic, which this week announced the deployment of military personnel to control the border crossing and has canceled all connecting flights with Haiti. This Saturday, in addition, he announced the development of an emergency evacuation plan for Dominican officials and other countries that require it, as reported by the Ministry of Defense.

The Dominican government has held a meeting to review the security protocols of the evacuation plan, as well as logistical aspects for fuel supply, immigration procedures, medical care and first aid, and the use of two local airports as supply points and gathering.

Caricom announces a meeting to “urgently address this situation”

The Caribbean Community (Caricom) reported this Saturday that there has been “considerable progress” in the talks between the parties involved, but they have not yet achieved significant results.

“While we are making considerable progress, the interested parties are not yet where they need to be,” the current president of Caricom, the president of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, stated in a statement about Caricom’s discussions with the Haitian prime minister and other political and civil society groups.

Caricom will hold a meeting next Monday, March 11, in Jamaica, with the heads of State and Government of the “key countries with which Haiti has committed itself as partners”, whom it did not mention. The objective of the meeting is to “urgently address this situation and all other critical issues to stabilize security and provide urgent humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti.”

The UN has confirmed the attendance of Earle Courtenay Rattray, António Guterres’ chief of staff; while from Caricom the presence of at least Ali and the prime ministers of Grenada, Dickon Mitchell, and Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, are expected. Representatives from the United States, Canada and France have also participated in the past, so it is likely that they will attend the meeting.

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