Unrest in Pétion-Ville; Over 1,500 people killed in Haiti in 2024 so far; 18 health facilities in Port-au-Prince no longer operational

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Situation in Haiti

  • Clashes between the police and gangs took place on 1 April near the national palace in Port-au-Prince. Five civilians and four police officers were killed in the shootings. 
  • Heavy exchange of fire also took place in Pétion-Ville on 1 April, with gunshots heard continuously throughout the day.
  • Up to 40 people have died in Pétion-Ville after severe unrest in the past week. One of those who died was gang leader Ernst Julmé, also known as Ti Greg.
  • 18 health facilities in Port-au-Prince are no longer functioning, including the largest public hospital.
  • Haiti is facing a shortage of medicine as 213 of the 216 supplying laboratories are outside of Haiti and are unable to send the supplies. One of the laboratories in Haiti is also not currently functional due to the insecurity.
  • Over 1,500 people have been killed since the start of the year in Haiti, while 160,000 of Port-au-Prince residents have been displaced.
  • More than 53,000 people have fled the capital of Port-au-Prince in less than 3 weeks, the majority of whom have been going to the rural southern region.
  • The UN published a report on the human rights situation in Haiti. Among the topics covered is the rampant sexual violence used by gang members, with some women forced into sexual slavery. Rape of hostages has also been used to coerce family members to pay ransoms.
  • The report further outlined the recruitment and abuse of children by gangs, with some children having been killed for trying to escape. Gangs are composed primarily of young men and children.
  • In total 59 cases of lynching were reported in 2024, carried out by so-called “self-defence brigades” as extrajudicial killings of gang members. In 2023, 528 cases of lynchings as extrajudicial killings were reported.
  • UNICEF condemns the burning down of a school in Port-au-Prince on 25 March, depriving 1,000 students of their right to education.
  • The UN estimates that 5.5 million Haitians, including 3 million children, will be dependent on humanitarian protection and assistance in 2024.
  • 100,000 meals have been distributed to 23,000 displaced people by the World Food Programme (WFP), the Center for Peasant Animation and Community Action (CAPAC), and the Group for Inclusion, Research and Development Support Haiti (GIRADEL Haiti).

Situation on the Transitional Presidential Council

  • The formation of a Transitional Presidential Council may be unconstitutional, according to the office of outgoing PM Ariel Henry. Henry’s office is seeking advice on the matter from CARICOM.
  • The Council of Ministers announced on Monday 1 April that lawyers have been entrusted with writing the decree in which the functioning of the Transitional Presidential Council would be established. 
  • Two designated members of the Presidential Council have already stepped down due to threats issued by the gangs. The first to step down was Dominique Dupuy, who has since been replaced.
  • The Presidential Council issued a statement on 27 March pledging to restore public and democratic order by ensuring the security of the lives and property of the Haitian people, as well as a relief from poverty and holding free elections.
  • The Council further states that they have developed mechanisms and criteria for choosing a president, prime minister, and a ministerial cabinet.
  • The definitive list of the Council members was sent to Ariel Henry on 28 March by CARICOM.
  • Guy Philippe, former coup leader, urged the resigned government not to sign the decree establishing the Presidential Council, and called on the designated members to step down. 
  • He further stated that the Haitians have asked him to be in charge of the transition, and that he is ready to take on this responsibility.

Situation on the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission

  • Canadian Armed Forces members have been deployed to Jamaica to train CARICOM military personnel who will participate in the MSS mission.
  • The gang-leader Jimmy Cherizier, also known as Barbecue, stated that he would be open for talks and a ceasefire if invited to the peace talks. He further states that any foreign intervention would be considered as invaders.
  • The United States has agreed to supply the Haiti National Police Force (PNH) with weapons and gear amounting to 10 million US dollars. 

Regional situation

  • The Dominican Republic has started building a border wall with Haiti, meant to cover half of the border area. The president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, stated that the border would reduce the smuggling of weapons and thereby fight organised crime.
  • 7,702 Haitians were repatriated from the Dominican Republic in February and March. They are dropped off in Ouanaminthe, from where it is difficult to transport them to where they come from due to the insecurity on the roads.
  • Amnesty International has urged the Dominican Republic to stop its racist migration policies and the forced returns of Haitians who are in need of protection.

Links of interest

Haïti – FLASH : Entre 30 et 40 tués à Pétion-ville en 5 jours
‘It’s a siege, it’s a war’: Haiti’s gangs tighten violent grip in lethal insurrection
160,000 people can no longer return home
Haiti: “Cataclysmic” situation demands immediate and bold action – UN report
Haiti’s surge in gang violence has led more than 53,000 to flee the capital in less than three weeks
100,000 meals distributed to displaced people
Haïti fait face à une pénurie de médicaments et d’intrants médicaux, selon Pierre Hugues Saint-Jean
L’UNICEF condamne l’incendie criminel d’une école par des groupes armés dans le centre de Port-au-Prince.
Violence flares again in Haiti as PM questions promised political solution
Le projet de décret portant création du Conseil présidentiel confié à des juristes…
Death threats and security concerns hinder creation of council that will choose Haiti’s next leader
Haiti’s transitional council issues its first statement, signaling its creation is nearly complete
Caricom urges resigning Haitian PM to immediately install the Transitional Presidential Council (TPC)
Guy Philippe appelle à un soulèvement pour l’imposer en dirigeant de la transition 
Canadian Forces personnel deploy to Jamaica to train troops for Haiti mission
Haiti gang boss will take part in talks if invited – but warns foreign forces will be treated as ‘invaders’
Pour la première fois les États-Unis vont fournir armes et munitions à la PNH
Dominican Republic begins building border wall with Haiti
Ouanaminthe : plus de 7 000 Haïtiens rapatriés de la République dominicaine en deux mois
Dominican Republic: Authorities must end de facto racist migration policies

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