Crime: State of emergency extended in Haiti due to gang violence

Crime: State of emergency extended in Haiti due to gang violence

Brutal gangs already largely controlled the capital. Now they have united and allowed the violence to escalate even more – and apparently prevented the head of government from re-entering the country.

In view of violent gang violence in Haiti, the government has extended the initial three-day state of emergency in the capital region to a month.

The night curfew there will also be extended until Monday, said Finance Minister Michel Boisvert in his new role as acting Prime Minister. He represented interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry, whose resignation the gangs are demanding and who has apparently not yet returned from a trip abroad due to the security situation.

According to media reports, there was looting at the port of Port-au-Prince on Thursday. Violence had paralyzed the capital for days, police stations were attacked, shots were also fired at the airport and all flights were canceled. The health system was on the brink of collapse, according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Wednesday. According to him, more than 4,500 prisoners escaped in attacks on two prisons on Saturday.

Tense humanitarian situation

The humanitarian situation in Haiti was already extremely tense. According to the UN, almost half of the Caribbean country’s eleven million residents suffered from acute hunger, and various brutal gangs controlled a total of around 80 percent of Port-au-Prince. Last week the two main armed groups merged. Their leader, Jimmy Chérizier alias “Barbecue”, threatened civil war if Henry did not resign.

He had agreed to hold elections by the end of August 2025. They would be the first in Haiti since Henry took over the reins of government shortly after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. The country has neither a president nor a parliament.

The US government called on Henry to speed up the process towards elections. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for financing a multinational security mission in Haiti that had already been approved by the UN Security Council.

Source: Stern

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