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Over 53,000 Left The Capital Of Haiti Due To Increased Gang Violence

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According to a United Nations study released on Tuesday, more than 53,000 individuals have left Haiti’s capital in less than three weeks, the great majority doing so to avoid the country’s relentless gang violence.

U.N. officials are concerned that over 60% are going to the rural southern part of Haiti.

The United Nations spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, stated, “Our humanitarian colleagues highlighted that these departments do not have sufficient infrastructure, and host communities do not have sufficient resources, to cope with the massive number of people fleeing Port-au-Prince.”

The International Organization for Migration of the United Nations reports that around 116,000 Haitians who formerly lived in Port-au-Prince are already residing in the southern region.

Over 3 million people left the capital city soon after strong gangs attacked several government buildings at the end of February. More than 4,000 prisoners have been released from Haiti’s two largest jails after gunmen assaulted and burned police stations and the country’s principal international airport, which is still closed.
As of March 22, the U.N. estimated that over 1,500 people had died and another 17,000 had been rendered homeless.
Marjorie Michelle-Jean, a 42-year-old street vendor, and her two children, aged four and seven, were among the infrequent tourists attempting to head north rather than south from the city.

She stated, “I want to see them alive,” citing the fact that errant shots are repeatedly striking the tin roof of their home. Last week, they tried twice to travel to her hometown of Mirebalais in central Haiti but were forced to turn back because of roadblocks.

She declared, “I will surely try again.” “There is no doubt that Port-au-Prince is unsafe.”

Over 70% of the 53,125 individuals who left Port-au-Prince between March 8 and 27 had already been forced to leave their houses and were either with relatives or in filthy, packed makeshift shelters spread throughout the capital, according to U.N. data.
About 90% of Haitians who are leaving the capital are jam-packing buses, putting their safety in danger as they pass through areas controlled by gangs, where there have been reports of gang rapes and instances of gunmen opening fire on public transportation.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry was compelled by the violence to declare last month that he would step down after a transitional presidential council was established. Henry was in Kenya to advocate for the East African police force to be sent by the United Nations.

The new prime minister and council of ministers will be selected by the transitional council, which has not yet been formally created.

It is anticipated that the Port-au-Prince mass exodus will continue in the interim.

However, Gary Dorval, 29, who was one of the few individuals present at the demonstration on Tuesday, declared that he intended to remain until a new administration was put in place, saying, “I want to be part of the change.”


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