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15 April, 2024
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Haiti declares state of emergency amid violence and prison breaks

Gang warfare and escape attempts plunge nation into crisis


Haiti has plunged into a state of emergency as the capital city witnessed intense violence, prompting the government to take drastic measures. According to a report on Sky News, the declaration comes in the wake of two prison breaks and escalating clashes, mainly orchestrated by a prominent gang leader aiming to remove Prime Minister Ariel Henry from power.

Over the weekend, Port-au-Prince was engulfed in turmoil, with parts of the city paralyzed and communication disrupted. The situation worsened as heavy gunfire echoed through the streets following calls by former police officer and notorious gang leader, Jimmy Cherizier, urging criminal factions to unite against the government.

To quell the chaos, a curfew has been imposed from 6 pm to 5 am daily until Wednesday, with the possibility of extension for another 72 hours. Despite efforts by law enforcement, armed groups managed to storm the country's largest prison, defying authorities and leaving chaos in their wake.

Reports from the National Penitentiary paint a grim picture of the aftermath, with numerous inmates fleeing amid the chaos while others faced dire consequences attempting to escape. The overcrowded facility, designed for 700 inmates but housing over 3,600 as of last year, became a battleground, resulting in casualties and fear among those incarcerated.

Among the detainees are 18 former Colombian soldiers implicated in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Their plea for help amidst the mayhem underscores the gravity of the situation within the prison walls.

The unrest has not only claimed lives and displaced thousands but also threatens the stability of the government. Prime Minister Henry, who assumed office following Moise's assassination, faces mounting pressure to restore order and pave the way for credible elections.

As Haiti grapples with the aftermath of violence and political instability, the international community watches closely, hoping for a swift resolution to the crisis that has engulfed the nation.

[With information sourced from Sky News]

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