Nearly 90 people killed in gang clashes in Haiti’s capital over the past week

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Around 90 people have died as a result of gang clashes during the last week in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, as denounced by the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH), which also noted that about 75 have been injured and 16 have been reported missing.

The agency detailed in a report that the fighting is being waged by the gang led by Gabriel Jean Pierre, alias ‘Ti Gabriel’, and an armed coalition known as G-9 an Fanmi e Alye. It also said that the epicenter of the fighting is the Nan Brooklyn neighborhood in Cité Soleil.

RNDDH said the leader of G-9 an Fanmi e Alye, alias ‘G-Pep’, launched an offensive in Nan Broolyn with the aim of expelling ‘Ti Gabril’ from the area and taking control of the entire commune of Cité Soleil, as reported by the Haitian news portal Gazzette Haiti.

“Among the dead, 21 have been charred, while 74 people have been wounded by gunshot or stab wounds. Also, 127 houses have been destroyed by explosives or set on fire by the bandits of G-9 an Fanmi e Alye,” he stressed, before recalling that the clashes between these gangs are not the first in the area.

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In this regard, he detailed that between January and May 2021, similar clashes were already recorded, resulting in 44 dead, 15 wounded and seven missing, before criticizing the authorities and the Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, for “continuing to apply this new form of political governance, imposed by the administration of Jovenel Moise and characterized by the use of armed gangs, to establish a climate of terror in the country.”

“The various RNDDH investigations reveal that the main victims of these armed attacks and massacres recorded in disadvantaged neighborhoods since 2018 continue to be part of the civilian population, including the elderly, children, infants and people living with reduced mobility,” he denounced.

In this way, the organization has also denounced “the non-intervention of the police institution and the mutism of the authorities in the face of these bloody events”, which is why it has called on the authorities to put an end to “the existing cronyism between them and the armed gangs” and “stop supplying the latter with money, weapons and ammunition”.

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On the other hand, during the day on Wednesday, demonstrations were recorded in Port-au-Prince to protest the fuel shortage, in the framework of which barricades were erected in several points of the city. The demonstrations were called by motorcycle cab drivers and opponents, as reported by Radio Métropole Haiti.

In this context, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned on Wednesday that 1.5 million Haitians do not have access to basic services as a result of gang clashes in the Haitian capital. “Immediate access is needed for humanitarians to provide emergency relief,” the agency’s office in Haiti said.

The NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned Tuesday that thousands of people are cut off without clean water, food and medical care in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Cité Soleil by armed groups fighting for control of the area.

Since the assassination of the president, Jovenel Moise, Haiti’s always convulsive political and economic situation was further battered. The power vacuum degenerated into a security crisis, with assassinations and kidnappings on a daily basis, especially in large parts of the capital. In addition, Henry’s term officially ended on February 7, which has increased the country’s legitimacy crisis and economic problems.

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