Haiti’s Capital Under Extended Curfew Amid Escalating Gang Violence

Haiti's Capital Under Extended Curfew Amid Escalating Gang
UN: Delaying help to combat Haiti's gangs may impact region | The Hill

Haiti’s Capital Under Extended Curfew Amid Escalating Gang Violence

Authorities announced on Wednesday (Mar. 20) that the curfew in Ouest, one of Haiti’s ten departments, has been extended until March 23, as gang violence continues to surge in the south-central region, which also serves as the administrative seat of the capital city.

The intensifying violence and instability have severely disrupted daily life in Port-au-Prince. The ongoing turmoil has resulted in dozens of casualties and forced thousands of people to flee their homes in search of safety.

Wilner Bossou, a reporter for China Global Television Network (CGTN), highlighted the dire situation, noting that some displaced individuals are seeking refuge in public schools, while the main hospital in Port-au-Prince is struggling to function due to a lack of medical staff and resources.

The escalating violence has exacerbated Haiti’s political crisis, prompting the Prime Minister to pledge his resignation, a demand advocated by the gangs.

Since late February, armed gangs have launched attacks on public institutions, including police stations in the capital and the international airport, which remains closed. In response to the unrest, a curfew and state of emergency were imposed in early March, authorizing the police to utilize all legal means necessary to restore order.

The armed groups have also disrupted fuel supplies by preventing fuel trucks from accessing the strategic Varreux fuel terminal in the capital, leading to deserted gas stations and a scarcity of fuel. Bossou reported that the gas shortage has prompted residents to stock up on fuel, exacerbating the already tense situation in Port-au-Prince, where daily attacks and gunfire have become commonplace.

Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, gangs and criminal organizations have tightened their grip on Haiti. Despite the Prime Minister’s pledge to step down on February 7 this year, the failure to hold elections has further fueled social unrest in the country.

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