Haitians leaving gangs established camp around capital’s primary square By Reuters

© Reuters. SUBMIT IMAGE: guy brings a senior guy as they leave their area Carrefour Feuilles after gangs took control of, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti August 15, 2023. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol/File Photo

By Harold Isaac

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) -Thousands of Haitians prepared to oversleep schools and a theater around the primary square of Port-au-Prince on Friday, after fresh attacks by armed gangs pressed currently displaced individuals downtown to look for shelter any place they could.

The Gran Ravine gang, led by Renel Destina, has actually besieged the largely inhabited community of Carrefour (EPA:) Feuilles for weeks, requiring help employees to withdraw and countless individuals to leave their houses. Under-resourced authorities have actually struggled to include the violence.

Dailove Pompilus, who was 9 months pregnant, stated she had no option however to come to the Champ de Mars square after the gang assaulted her house in Carrefour Feuilles, eliminating her 3-year-old boy.

“My first child,” she stated. “They burned down the house with him inside.”

Sophia Jean, another homeowner, got away with her 8-month-old infant and the clothing on her back. “I did not have time to take anything,” she stated.

By nightfall, individuals took haven at close-by schools and the Rex theater.

Yves Penel, a theater supervisor speaking at the primary square, stated numerous individuals had actually shown up over night on Thursday and they had actually produced committees to handle food, water and health.

“I grew up in Carrefour Feuilles,” stated Penel. “We will do what we have to do.”

The United Nations approximates more than 10,000 individuals have actually been displaced in the last 2 weeks alone.

Thursday night marked the very first time given that the devastating 2010 earthquake that individuals have actually camped in the Champ de Mars, the capital’s primary square that is house to historic monoliths honoring heroes of the Haitian Revolution.


“They shot at us,” stated Clerina Coffy, who ranged from Place Jeremie, a makeshift camp approximately 1 mile (1.5 km) away, with her 3 kids throughout Thursday night. “We are here because we have nowhere to go with the kids.”

Local press reporters stated some individuals aiming to leave the city had actually collected at a bus station while in other places civil defense groups strengthened barriers.

With school classes set to resume this month however lots of now hosting displaced individuals, the education ministry required the structures to be secured.

Haiti’s gang warfare has actually left some 2,500 dead and 1,000 hurt given that January, according to the U.N., in the middle of extensive kidnappings, lynchings and sexual violence.

The U.N. Security Council is anticipated to vote on a strategy to send out global security support, which Haiti’s unelected federal government asked for last October. A Kenyan delegation consulted with authorities chiefs last month however nations have actually bewared and an international force has yet to emerge.


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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