Demonstrations and violent clashes in Haiti demanding resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry; Kenyan high court rules MSS mission unconstitutional

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Situation in Haiti

  • Demonstrations and violent clashes have been taking place all over Haiti’s capital region in the past days in the runup to the deadline of 7 February imposed by demonstrators to demand Prime Minister Ariel Henry to leave office.
  • Guy Philippe, a former Haitian senator who has recently been instigating civil disobedience, was among demonstrators in Pétion-Ville, fulfilling his promise that he would be back in Port-au-Prince before 7 February.
  • Clashes with the police in the context of the demonstrations have led to two deaths in Port-au-Prince and other regions in Haiti, such as Cap Haitien. 
  • The demonstrators are primarily supporters of Guy Philippe, the Ptit Dessalines Party, led by Jean-Charles Moïse, and agents from the Protected Areas Security Brigade (BSAP).
  • Demonstrators in Ouanaminthe made an attempt to burn down a market on Tuesday 23 January.
  • Truck drivers and the general population have been called to strike in protest of the insecurity on national roads. The strikes are primarily organised by the Anti-Corruption Trade Union Brigade (BSAC).
  • The blockades on the roads by armed groups will likely create a fuel shortage in Port-au-Prince, leading to a steep increase in fuel prices, according to the trade unionist Jacques Anderson Décroches.
  • Armed groups have taken control of several neighbourhoods in Carrefour in Port-au-Prince. The areas of Martissant, Mariani, Carrefour feuilles, Pernier, Croix des Bouquets, Bel-Air and communes of Artibonite are all under gang control.
  • Armed men attacked several neighbourhoods of Carrefour on 5 February, trying to take control of the area. Several residents were killed and many were displaced.
  • The unrest in the country has led to the closure of schools in several regions, while health institutions are struggling to function and blockades on principal roads are inhibiting circulation.
  • The director of the National Agency for Protected Areas (ANAP), Jeantel Joseph, was dismissed by the Haitian government. A commission consisting of 5 members, including members of the Haitian National Police (PNH) and of the Haitian Armed forces (FADH), will replace him.
  • The Haitian government ordered all those working with ANAP to be registered at the Ministry of the Environment. These ANAP agents will no longer be allowed to circulate in towns or cities, having been deemed too powerful and responsible for violent clashes with the police.
  • The head of the Protected Areas Security Brigade (BSAP), an operational directorate of ANAP, Joseph Jean Baptiste, has accused the government of adding fuel to the fire. In protest, Baptiste roamed on the street with armed agents.
  • Agents of the BSAP have been accused of shootings against the Town Hall of Mirebalais. In other parts of the capital city, BSAP agents have complied with the new regulations.
  • 213 homicide cases, 69 kidnappings, and dozens of rape cases have been reported in Port-au-Prince since the start of the year. 52 people were killed in armed attacks on 30 and 31 January. 
  • Discussions between political groups and Civil Society Organisations have been held by the Montana Accord, a commission founded in 2021 to find Haitian solutions to the current crisis in the country. The discussions aim to create a harmonised block to allow more fruitful negotiations.
  • The wife of the former president Jovenel Moïse has been issued an arrest warrant for suspicion of being implicated in the assassination of Moïse in 2021. The arrest warrant was issued on 25 October 2023. It was leaked to the media on 29 January 2024.
  • The former leader of the 400 Mawozo gang, Germaine Joly, also referred to as “Yonyon”, has pleaded guilty for the trafficking of firearms in Southern Florida, in Washington DC, where his trial is held. 
  • Two studies carried out by the State University of Haiti (UEH) found that the levels of particles and pollutants in the air of Port-au-Prince largely exceed levels deemed safe by the WHO. These can cause skin lesions, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and lung cancer.

Situation on the Multinational Security Support (MSS)

  • The Kenyan High court ruled that the deployment of police officers outside of the country is unconstitutional, unless a reciprocal agreement has been made with the host government, which was not deemed to be the case for the MSS. The Kenyan government plans on appealing the ruling.
  • Despite the court ruling, the Kenyan government has assured that it is still committed to leading the mission in Haiti, which could possibly already take place in the first half of February, if an agreement is made with the Haitian government.
  • The Kenyan Prime Cabinet Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi, held talks in Washington DC with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, discussing the MSS among other topics. Both parties stated they are still devoted to continuing the plans to improve the lives of the Haitian people.

International situation

  • The European Union pledged €3 million to a basket fund for the Haitian National Police (PNH). The EU’s contribution will in part be used to better regulate the influx of illegal goods into the country.
  • Parts of the funds provided by the EU will go directly to the PNH, where it will be used to fight sexual crimes and increase the presence of female officers within the institution.

Links of interest

Guy Philippe à Pétion-Ville, panique et manifestation dans les rues
Port-au-Prince Faces Tensions and Activity Downturn on February 5th
Pénurie de carburant et début de marché noir
Attaque de bandits contre des quartiers de Carrefour, des morts et des déplacés enregistrés
Neighborhood occupation, looting of houses
Insécurité : un nouveau front s’ouvre-t-il ?
Haiti cracks down on heavily armed environmental agents after clashes with police
The BSAP of the Center rejects the Government’s directives
Division within the BSAP
Crise haïtienne et violations des droits humains : Le collectif Défenseurs Plus condamne la passivité du gouvernement et lui demande d’assumer ses responsabilités
Tensions politiques: l’accord Montana prône la mobilisation, la négociation et la diplomatie, selon Fritz Alphonse Jean
Haitian judge seeks to interview widow of slain president in leaked arrest warrant obtained by AP
Trafic d’armes : Germaine Joly alias “Yonyon” plaide coupable aux USA
L’air à P-au-P peut rendre malade. Voici les zones à risque.
‘Illegal and invalid’: Kenya court halts deployment of police to Haiti
Les policiers kényans seront déployés en Haïti, annonce le président du Kenya
Kenya’s Mudavadi talks trade with Blinken, with eye on Haiti
L’Union européenne alloue 3 millions d’euros au Basket fund pour la PNH

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