Coordinated attacks have taken place all over the country; two prisons in Haiti stormed by gang members; the main international airport has been shut down

Haiti Matters is a collaboration under EEPA+, a Belgium-based Centre of Expertise with in-depth knowledge, publications, and networks, specialised in issues of peacebuilding, refugee protection, and resilience. Haiti Matters is a network of people and organisations supporting the Haitian people. The Situation Reports can be found here. To receive the situation report in your e-mail, click here. For the Situation Report on the Horn of Africa, click here. You can unsubscribe at any moment through the link at the bottom of each e-mail. The Situation Report is published bi-monthly.

Situation in Haiti

  • Gang members within the coalition “vivre ensemble” have been carrying out coordinated attacks in Haiti since 29 February. 
  • Gang members stormed Haiti’s two biggest prisons, both located in Port-au-Prince, releasing over 4,700 prisoners over the weekend. 12 people were killed during the prison attacks. 
  • As a response, a 72-hour state of emergency and a curfew were declared by the government.
  • The coalition “vivre ensemble” was originally a truce between different gangs announced in September 2023 with the intention of confronting the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission as a united front. The truce broke down after a few days, but has been revived since.
  • Attacks were also conducted on several police stations, with two stations set on fire and five police officers killed on 29 February and 1 March. The sub-station of the Haitian National Police (PNH) was set on fire by armed groups on Monday 4 March. 
  • The Toussaint Louverture international airport in Port-au-Prince was under fire on 29 February, leading to the suspension of numerous flights.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) was also targeted on 29 February, with its premises vandalised and looted by armed men. The premises of the Ministry of Communications were looted and ransacked on 2 March. 
  • Similarly, the Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine (FAMV), was stormed and students were held as hostages before being released hours later.
  • 40 dead bodies were found in downtown Port-au-Prince on Sunday 3 March, while gruesome footage of the attacks, mutilation of bodies and torturing of individuals are widespread online. 
  • About 15,000 people fled the violence between 29 February and 2 March, including some that were already displaced.
  • The attacks were promoted beforehand by gang leader Jimmy Chérizier, also known as “Barbecue”. Chérizier has pledged to capture Haiti’s police chief and government ministers, as well as preventing Prime Minister Ariel Henry from returning to the country. 
  • Chérizier has further stated that if the international community keeps supporting Ariel Henry, and he does not resign, a civil war will ensue which will lead to a genocide. “Either Haiti becomes a paradise for us all, or a hell for us all,” said Chérizier.
  • Prime Minister Ariel Henri is unable to return to Haiti as the international airport has been under fire, suspending flights. Ariel Henri is now in Puerto Rico, having signed the reciprocal agreement in Kenya. Patrick Michel Boivert, the Minister of Finance, is acting interim in his absence.
  • The largest hospital in Haiti has been closed since 29 February as patients and doctors were forced to vacate the building due to the threat posed by the gang violence. Another hospital, Saint-François de Sales, was pillaged by armed men after patients were evacuated. 
  • The commune of Croix-des-Bouquets, where a prison was stormed and the police station set on fire, is now also under gang control. 
  • Gang leader Agony Altenor, also known as “Salami”, and his second in command, were killed in a police operation on Monday 4 March.
  • Several political parties published a document on an alternative to Prime Minister Ariel Henri, presented by Jean-Charles Moïse on 5 March. The document outlines a plan out of the crisis in which executive power would be held by a Presidential Council (PC) and a Prime Minister. 
  • Three people have been presented to form the PC: Judge Durin Junior Duret, who would preside over the council, Guy Philippe, and Françoise Saint-Vil Villier. The tasks of the council would include appointing the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers. 

Situation on the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission

  • A reciprocal agreement to deploy Kenyan police in Haiti was signed on Friday 1 March. 
  • Ekuru Aukot, politician in the Kenyan opposition, stated that he will question the validity of the agreement and submit a case for contempt of court. 
  • U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has been rallying support for the MSS mission in the G20 meeting that took place in Rio de Janeiro at the end of February. 
  • Countries committed 120 Million US dollars for the MSS during the meeting in Brazil, according to Blinken. 
  • Five Countries have noted their intention to contribute personnel to the mission, namely Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, and Chad.

International situation

  • The Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, expressed deep concern about the security situation in Haiti, calling for urgent action in the form of financial support to the MSS mission. 
  • Only 2.5% of the $674 million humanitarian appeal for Haiti by the UN has been funded, which makes up $17 million.

Regional situation

  • A meeting between the Caricom heads of states and Haitian political figures on the political crisis in Haiti has been reported due to slow replies and rejections to the meeting invitation by Haitian politicians, some of which have claimed that the invitations were abrupt and unexpected.

Links of interest

Haiti: Private Meeting
Gunfire paralyses Haiti as gang leader pushes for PM’s removal
Deuxième journée de violences coordonnées des gangs, un troisième sous-commissariat incendié
Bon Repos, 5th police officer found dead
Carrefour airport sub-police station burned
Haiti police unions plead for help as armed gangs storm main prison
Haiti declares curfew after 4,000 inmates escape jail amid rising violence
iciHaiti – Crisis : The Ministry of Agriculture attacked, vandalized and looted
Ministry of Communication, ransacked and looted
Haiti – FLASH : The FAMV attacked, vandalized and looted
At least 40 dead
Comme pour souligner que le pire est à venir…
Haiti declares state of emergency after thousands of dangerous inmates escape
Jimmy Chérizier menace d’une « guerre civile » si Ariel Henry reste au pouvoir
Haiti – FLASH : Ariel Henry stranded in the United States
L’hôpital général, plus grand centre de soins du pays, est dysfonctionnel, selon son directeur, Dr Jude Milcé
Scènes de pillage à l’hôpital Saint-François de Sales
L’État perd le contrôle de la commune de la Croix-des-Bouquets
PNH : A gang leader and his right-hand man killed
Jean Charles Moïse propose un Conseil présidentiel pour remplacer Ariel Henry
Gangs rule Haiti’s capital. Some say they’re ready to overthrow the government too
Kenya, Haiti sign ‘reciprocal’ agreement on police deployment: Ruto
Rising to the Challenge on Haiti: Multinational Security Support Mission Ministerial Meeting
Blinken rallies support for Haiti security mission in Brazil
Violence en Haïti: réunion ce mercredi du Conseil de sécurité
Haiti crisis: UN chief calls for ‘urgent action’ to end rampant insecurity
Report de la rencontre de la Caricom avec les acteurs politiques haïtiens

Disclaimer: All information in this Situation Report is presented as a fluid update report, as to the best knowledge and understanding of the authors at the moment of publication. Haiti Matters does not claim that the information is correct but verifies to the best of ability within the circumstances. Publication is weighed on the basis of interest to understand potential impacts of events (or perceptions of these) on the situation. Check all information against updates and other media. Haiti Matters does not take responsibility for the use of the information or impact thereof. All information reported originates from third parties and the content of all reported and linked information remains the sole responsibility of these third parties. Report to any additional information and corrections.