Press "Enter" to skip to content

Haiti: Gang violence spreads as talks continue

Negotiations to form a Haitian transitional council advanced on Wednesday as gang violence spread to an upmarket suburb. The United States airlifted more citizens to safety but said no military decisions have been made.

Diplomats were on Wednesday pushing on with discussions to set up a transitional countil to govern Haiti as gang violence continued to spread across the lawless and impoverished Caribbean nation.

Haiti has been in the grip of criminal gangs since February when armed groups raided a prison and released thousands of inmates amid demands for Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign.

Henry agreed last week to step down and facilitate the formation of an interim government, but negotiations have been slow, despite pressure from United States and other Caribbean countries.

“Discussions continue,” Guyana’s ambassador to the UN, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, said. “I’m sure it will take a little bit of time but, from all indications, it’s moving along.”

Violence reached the upmarket Petion-Ville district in the capital in recent days

United States: ‘no decisions’ on military intervention

The United States has been evacuating its citizens by helicopter from the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince to the neighboring Dominican Republic and to Florida, but White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that here had been “no decisions one way or the other right now” on potential US military intervention.

Nevertheless, US Army General Laura Richardson said on Tuesday that, whatever happens, troops were “prepared.”

Haiti: violence spreads to Petion-Ville suburb

Meanwhile on the ground on Tuesday and Wednesday, violence spread to the Petion-Ville suburb of Port-au-Prince, an upmarket area with several embassies and expensive hotels, which gang leader Jimmy “Barbeque” Cherizier threatened to target last week for harboring politicians.

Local media reported heavy gunfire and bodies on the streets, with newspaper Le Nouvelliste saying that at least 15 people had been killed in attacks across the suburb.

“I’m ruined,” Gerard Vil, a street trader in the capital, told the AFP news agency. “I used to sell things in the center of Port-au-Prince. Since insecurity has skyrocketed, you can no longer sell there.”

WFP warns of danger of famine and malnutrition

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced within Haiti since the violence began and thousands killed amid widespread reports of rape, arson and ransom kidnappings. Hospitals are running short of key supplies such as blood and oxygen and food prices are soaring.

The World Food Programme has warned of malnutrition and famine and said roadblocks in the capital had impeded efforts to distribute food.

“We will do everything we can to help, but we need security and access,” said the WFP’s representative in Haiti, Jean-Martin Bauer.

Source: Dw

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *