Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

More than 33,000 ;people flee violence in Port-au-Prince

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More than 33,000 people tried to escape gang violence in Haiti. A man and a child tried to avoid gunfire near the National Palace in Port-au-Prince on Thursday.

Agence France-Presse

The Port-au-Prince region, which more than 33,000 people fled to try to escape gang violence, woke up Friday to charred corpses in its streets, after attacks by x27;armed men and a police operation.

An AFP correspondent saw several remains in the city center of the capital 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.

A resident for his part indicated having seen lifeless bodies in Pétionville, also in the suburbs of Port-au-Prince.

On Friday, an uneasy calm reigned in the capital after a day marked by several attacks by armed men and a police operation which led to the death of a gang leader, Ernst Julmé, alias Ti-Grèg. The latter escaped from prison in early March.

Some roads remained barricaded and very few vehicles were circulating. Most public administration offices kept their doors closed, as did schools and universities.

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Banks and supermarkets were, however, open.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 33,000 people fled the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince in two weeks to seek refuge. #x27;protect from escalating gang attacks.

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A man lifts the sheet covering the victim of a shooting in the streets of Pétionville, a district of the capital Port-au-Prince, on Monday March 18, 2024.

They mainly headed towards the departments of the Great South, which are already hosting 116,000 displaced people who have fled in recent months.

These provinces have not There is insufficient infrastructure and host communities do not have sufficient resources that can enable them to cope with these massive displacement flows from the capital, IOM said.

A large part of these more than 33,000 people were already internally displaced, sometimes several times.

The United States has evacuated dozens of their nationals.

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

Highly contested, the latter was unable to return to his country after a trip to Kenya. According to consistent sources, he is now in California, after leaving Puerto Rico.

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

But in the meantime, armed gangs are expanding their attacks in the capital, of which they already controlled some 80%.

Over the past few days, gangs have advanced into new areas of the capital.

A quote from Ulrika Richardson, UN humanitarian coordinator

More than 5 million people, half of the population, need humanitarian aid, she added.

The future presidential transitional council, the establishment of which was decided during an emergency meeting in Jamaica of several countries and organizations with Haitian representatives, is long overdue.

This body, which will be responsible for appointing an interim prime minister, must try to put the country back on the path to stability.

Haiti remains for the moment without a president or parliament: the last head of state, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in 2021. And the country has not had an election since 2016. Ariel Henry, appointed by Jovenel Moïse should have left office at the start of February. Haiti will constitute a decisive test for the unity and sustainability of the new government.

A quote from International Crisis Group

The new authorities should resume talks with foreign partners to accelerate the deployment of the multinational security mission and, in the meantime, try to provide the necessary equipment to the police to try to regain control of the port and major highways, a- he added.

Kenya, which was to send a thousand police officers to Haiti as part of a mission supported by the The UN announced that it was suspending this deployment in view of the chaotic situation.

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