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Haiti declares state of emergency after gang violence 

Haiti declares state of emergency after gang violence 

In Haiti, chaos erupted when armed gangs attacked a major prison, resulting in a mass jailbreak of around 3,700 inmates and the deaths of at least 12 people. The gangs, who have significant control over the capital, Port-au-Prince, are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is currently out of the country.


A coalition of Gangs Violence

The violence has been ongoing for years, with gangs controlling large portions of the city. Over the weekend, two prisons were targeted, leading the government to declare a state of emergency and impose a curfew. Reports indicate that police stations were also attacked, diverting attention away from the prison assaults.


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The situation has worsened since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, with no successor in place and elections stalled since 2016. Gangs have further tightened their grip on the capital, causing widespread fear and disruption. Many people have been displaced from their homes, seeking refuge in makeshift shelters with limited supplies.


The recent escalation in violence coincided with Prime Minister Henry’s trip to Nairobi to discuss security measures with international partners. Gang leader Jimmy Chérizier, known as Barbecue, orchestrated the attacks in an attempt to force Henry’s resignation.Despite calls for military assistance to secure the prisons, they were overrun by the gangs, leaving them deserted and several inmates dead. 


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Amidst the chaos, there have been reports of civilians being caught in the crossfire and widespread destruction.The situation has sparked outrage and protests against the government, with many demanding Henry’s resignation as part of a political deal that has yet to materialize. 

Claude Joseph, head of the opposition party, described the country’s predicament as a “nightmare,” criticizing Henry’s refusal to step down despite mounting pressure and violence.


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