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13 févr. 2019 | 17h03 UTC

Haiti: Unrest and anti-government protests continue nationwide Feb. 13 /update 13

Haiti Alerte de sécurité

Violent protests continue nationwide February 13; foreign missions begin withdrawing staff amid intensifying unrest

TIMEFRAME expected from 13/2/2019, 12h00 until 16/2/2019, 11h59 (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 Wednesday morning (local time), February 13. Roadblocks and demonstrations were reported in the capital on Delmas 60, Delmas 95, Boulevard du 15 Octobre, Avenue Maïs Gaté, Carrefour Aéroport, and Boulevard Toussaint Louverture at Carrefour Fleuriot. A large gathering of motorbikes has also been reported near Port-au-Prince at Croix-des-Bouquets.

Additionally, roadblocks and protests were reported in Carrefour (Ouest department), Mirebalais (Centre department), Morne Tapion (Ouest department), Hinche (Centre department), Léogâne (Ouest department), Les Cayes (Sud department), Port-Salut (Sud department), and Ouanaminthe (Nord-Est department).

The US Department of State, European Union, and other diplomatic missions ordered the departure of some of their respective personnel and family members from their embassies in Haiti on Tuesday, February 12, and Wednesday. Protesters broke into and looted a building which houses the Honorary Consulate of Peru and Embassy of Italy in Port-au-Prince late Tuesday.

President Moïse, facing increasing pressure to resign from opposition and business leaders, has not directly addressed the protests as of Wednesday morning. Moïse also recalled his Ambassador to the US Paul Altidor on Tuesday as US officials are set to meet with Haitian government officials. 

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 eight 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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