News Alerts

14 Feb 2019 | 05:25 PM UTC

Haiti: Anti-government protests continue amid unrest Feb. 14 /update 14

Haiti News Alert

Violent anti-government protests and roadblocks reported nationwide February 14; heightened security presence expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/14/2019, 12:00 AM until 2/17/2019, 11:59 PM (America/Port-au-Prince). COUNTRY/REGION Port-au-Prince, Haiti

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Event

Demonstrations calling for the indictment and resignation of President Jovenel Moïse continue in Port-au-Prince and other cities as of Thursday morning (local time), February 14. Roadblocks and demonstrations were reported in and around the capital city, including at Boulevard du 15 Octobre, Tabarre bridge at Rue Flerio, and Croix-des-Bouquets.

A demonstration, led by opposition figure Youri Latortue, is reportedly slated to take place in Port-au-Prince on Thursday afternoon (local time) from Airport Road to Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP). Flight disruptions are possible at PAP if demonstrators impede access to the airport. 

President Jovenel Moïse continues to ignore calls for his resignation amid pressure from opposition and business leaders. A spokesperson for the President denied rumors of Moïse stepping aside, and stated any transfer of power will be done during the upcoming presidential election. Moïse, meanwhile, recalled his ambassadors to the US, UN, France, and Mexico on February 12-13. 

Demonstrations on Wednesday, February 13, were marked by violence as protesters and police clashed nationwide. Thousands marched through Port-au-Prince in an attempt to converge on the National Palace; security forces violently repressed the crowd, reportedly killing at least two people. Local reports also indicate residents are experiencing shortages of fresh water, food, and fuel after one week of protests. 

Widespread business disruptions continue nationwide as demonstrators have set fire to and looted several shops in recent days. Public transportation has also been halted in the capital. Security forces continue to deploy reinforcements to protect banks, government offices, court buildings, and utility installations. Further demonstrations and significant transportation disruptions are expected to continue in Port-au-Prince and throughout the country over the coming days. Clashes between security forces and protesters are likely.

Context

Violent demonstrations, known as "Operation lock down Haiti," have been taking place on a daily basis since February 7, with demonstrators erecting roadblocks, burning tires, and throwing rocks at security forces nationwide.

At least six people have been killed in the demonstrations, with dozens of others suffering injuries. On February 9, a United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) armored personnel carrier accidentally collided with a collective taxi, killing four people in the Canapé Vert area of Port-au-Prince and further exacerbating social unrest.

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.

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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