Violent demonstrations calling for the indictment and resignation of President Jovenel Moïse continue to be reported in Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti as Friday afternoon (local time), February 8, with reports of protesters attacking and looting businesses amid a heightened security presence. According to local reports, at least four people have been killed, with many more wounded since Thursday, February 7. According to a Haitian National Police (PNH) spokesperson, at least 15 police officers have been wounded in clashes with demonstrators. In addition, at least 36 demonstrators have been arrested by security forces, including 13 in Port-au-Prince.
As of Friday afternoon, roadblocks have been reported on the Autoroute de Delmas in Port-au-Prince, while mobs have reportedly attacked passing vehicles in the Poste Marchand area of the city. Demonstrations have also been reported in Port Salut and Les Cayes (Sud department), Mirebalais (Centre department), and Gonaïves (Artibonite department). Protests turned violent in the Raboteau area of Gonaïves, with police officers reportedly firing live ammunition to disperse crowds. Earlier, on Friday morning, violent protests were reported throughout Port-au-Prince, including in 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.
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.
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 several dozens 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.
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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