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Haiti News Alert

Haiti: Violent protests continue nationwide on February 9 /update 8

Violent protests continue nationwide for third consecutive day on February 9; avoid all protests

09 Feb 09:06 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 2/9/2019, 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

Violent demonstrations calling for the indictment and resignation of President Jovenel Moïse continue to be reported for the third consecutive day in Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti as Saturday afternoon (local time), February 9. As of 16:00, protests are ongoing in several areas of Port-au-Prince, including in Montagne Noir, Delmas 48, Delmas 78, and near the Canadian Embassy located between Delmas 75 and Delmas 71. Demonstrators on motorcycles have also been reported throughout the city, hindering security forces' ability to contain the protests.

Roadblocks have been reported along Avenue Martin Luther King, as well as in the Bourdon and Delmas 33 areas of Port-au-Prince. Violent clashes have been reported between security forces and demonstrators several areas of the city, with security forces reportedly opening fire on demonstrators to disperse crowds earlier on Saturday. According to local sources, several people have been killed in demonstrations since Thursday, February 7, with dozens more suffering injuries.

Protests have also been reported on Saturday morning in Les Cayes (Sud department), where protesters have set fire to a bank, Petit-Goâve, Cabaret, Aracahaie (Ouest department), Gonaïves, and Saint-Marc (Artibonite department). On Friday, February 8, the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a security warning, advising travelers to the area to strictly avoid all gatherings and to not attempt to cross roadblocks. Additional protests and clashes between demonstrators and security forces along with significant transportation disruptions are to be expected nationwide, particularly in Port-au-Prince, in the coming hours. Further demonstrations in the coming days cannot be ruled out.

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 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.

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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