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Haiti News Alert

Haiti: Violent protests continue nationwide February 8 /update 5

Anti-government protests and reports of unrest continue nationwide February 8; avoid all demonstrations

08 Feb 05:03 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 2/8/2019, 12:00 AM until 2/11/2019, 11:59 PM (America/Port-au-Prince). COUNTRY/REGION Port-au-Prince, Haiti
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Event

Anti-government protests have continued across Haiti for a second consecutive day on Friday, February 8, with reports of large demonstrations, makeshift barricades, and localized unrest. In Port-au-Prince, roadblocks and protests have been reported as of Friday morning (local time) on Delmas 18, Delmas 30, Delmas 33, Delmas 75, Avenue Maïs-Gaté, and Carrefour Aéroport, as well as in outlying communities of Fragneau Ville, Croix-des-Bouquets, and Santo. Flight operations at Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) in Port-au-Prince were normal as of Friday morning amid a heightened security presence.

Near Pétion-Ville (Ouest department), protesters reportedly set fire to businesses and threw rocks at the Hospital de la Communauté Haitienne in the Marie Thérèse area. Roadblocks and unrest were also reported in Gonaives (Artibonite department), Mirebalais (Centre department), and Les Cayes (Sud department). 

Additional protests and clashes between demonstrators and security forces are to be expected nationwide, particularly in Port-au-Prince, in the coming hours. Further demonstrations in the coming days cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence and traffic disruptions are anticipated near protest sites.

Context

Opposition parties staged nationwide demonstrations on February 7 to denounce the economic situation in Haiti and to call for the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse. Widespread unrest was reported in several cities, with at least four killed and 21 wounded nationwide as police used tear gas and live rounds in an attempt to control the crowds.

Numerous demonstrations have been staged in recent months to call for greater government transparency after several public officials, including President Jovenel Moïse, were implicated in a scandal related to the alleged misuse of PetroCaribe funds. Violent protests took place in late 2018, with gunfire, roadblocks, and mob violence reported across the country, including in Cap-Haïtien, Pétion-Ville, Lalue, Croix-des-Bouquets, Les Cayes, and Chalon. At least ten people were killed.

Advice

Individuals in Haiti are advised to keep abreast of the situation, strictly avoid all protests and associated roadblocks due to the likelihood of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments (e.g. travel restrictions). Be prepared to shelter in place in the event of prolonged civil unrest (e.g. stockpile supplies of preserved foods and fresh water).

 

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