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Montevideo, April 21st 2024 - 21:59 UTC



Haitian authorities fend off yet another attack against Gov't Palace

Wednesday, April 3rd 2024 - 10:00 UTC
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There was an undetermined number of casualties on Barbecue's side There was an undetermined number of casualties on Barbecue's side

Five Haitian law enforcement officers were wounded while fending off an onslaught from Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier's Vivre Ensemble (Living Together) gang against the Government Palace in Port-au-Prince on Monday. According to local media, there were various casualties on the attackers' side, but the number remained undetermined.

At the same time, armed groups launched a series of coordinated and simultaneous attacks in the capital's metropolitan area, it was reported. In this scenario, the curfew from 7 pm to 6 am was extended until Wednesday in the West department, where the capital is located. Demonstrations on public roads, both day and night, have also been banned. The police have been authorized to use all legal means at their disposal to “enforce the curfew and arrest all violators”.

Monday's was the second attempt after March 8 on the iconic building by the rebel group led by a policeman gone rogue that controls key parts of Port-au-Prince.

Meanwhile, the United Nations once again called on Haiti to form a transitional government “without delay” and urged the international community to adopt stricter measures to prevent the illicit supply, sale, diversion, or transfer to Haiti of small arms, light weapons, and ammunition.

The Geneva-based UN Office for Human Rights Tuesday called on the authorities of the Caribbean state to form “without delay” a transitional government to curb the increasing levels of gang violence.

A report from Human Rights Council High Commissioner Volker Türk showed that since the beginning of the year, criminal gang violence against police stations, prisons, and other facilities was on the rise, with the aim of “overthrowing the authorities in power.”

This escalation of violence has had “devastating consequences” for the country's population, which, according to Türk, can wait no longer in the face of the “unprecedented” violation of their human rights.

“The Haitian people anxiously await the outcome of the talks aimed at setting in motion these transitional arrangements, which would ultimately pave the way for elections,” the Austrian high commissioner went on.

Between Jan. 1 and March 20, at least 1,434 people have been killed and 797 injured in gang-related attacks while unprecedented levels of sexual violence have been recorded, particularly against displaced women and girls.

The report also mentioned the need to create corridors for vital humanitarian aid to the some 5.5 million Haitians going through severe hardships. Türk insisted that the “imminent” deployment of a multinational mission approved by the UN Security Council last October was essential for the implementation of these corridors.

This mission is currently blocked as it was originally going to be headed by Kenyan forces but was halted by a Kenyan judiciary ruling in January.

Regarding minors involved in gangs, the High Commissioner called for long-term programs to help them rejoin society through psychological support plus quality education and healthcare.

“The time has come to end the political impasse, to urgently rebuild peace, stability, and security in the country, and to give Haitians the hope they so desperately need,” Türk stressed. “The scale of human rights abuses is unprecedented in Haiti's modern history,” he added.

“First and foremost, the immediate priority must be to restore some degree of law and order to prevent further violence from harming the population and to ensure access to life-saving humanitarian aid,” Turk elaborated.

Tags: Haiti.

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