Haiti: dozens dead in clashes between gangs in Port-au-Prince

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The Haitian capital, hit by a fuel shortage, is sinking into violence. At least 89 people have been killed in a week in clashes between rival gangs.

At least 89 people have been killed in a week in clashes between gangs in Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti where prices are soaring and fuel shortages are getting worse.

“At least 89 people were murdered and 16 others are missing,” the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights said in a statement on Wednesday July 13, specifying that the partial assessment of this violence also reports “74 wounded by bullet or with bladed weapons”.

Since Thursday, bursts of automatic weapons crackle all day long in Cité Soleil, the most disadvantaged and densely populated commune in the metropolitan area: two factions of gangs clash there without the police, in lack of men and equipment, does not intervene.

Families holed up at home

Along the corridors of slums that have formed there over the past four decades, thousands of families have no choice but to hide in their homes, without being able to get water and food.

Some residents are victims of stray bullets even inside their modest homes, made of simple sheet metal, but ambulances are not allowed to circulate freely in the area to help the injured.

“We call on all the belligerents to allow the passage of aid to Brooklyn (name of the district of Cité Soleil where the violence is concentrated, editor’s note) and to spare civilians”, urged Wednesday Mumuza Muhindo, head of mission of Doctors without Borders.


Hampered in its operations to evacuate victims, the humanitarian organization has nevertheless operated on around fifteen injured people per day on average since Friday, in its hospital located near Cité Soleil.

“Along the only road to Brooklyn, we encountered rotting or burnt corpses,” Mumuza Muhindo added. “It can be people killed in the clashes or trying to flee and being shot. It’s a real battlefield.”

These deadly clashes between gangs affect all activities throughout the capital because it is in Cité Soleil that the oil terminal that supplies Port-au-Prince and all of northern Haiti is located. Across the capital, gas stations no longer dispense a drop of fuel, drastically driving up prices on the black market.

Angry at this situation, motorcycle taxi drivers erected a number of barricades on Wednesday across the main roads of Port-au-Prince. Faced with this spontaneous movement, only short trips by motorcycle within the neighborhoods were possible, AFP journalists have noted.

Subject to such hazards, the inhabitants of the capital struggle to organize their daily activities, already hampered by the risk of kidnapping. For more than two years, gangs have multiplied villainous kidnappings in the city, kidnapping people of all socio-economic origins and all nationalities. Enjoying widespread impunity, the criminal gangs have amplified their actions over the weeks: at least 155 kidnappings were committed in June against 118 in May, reported the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, in its latest report released on Wednesday.

With AFP


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