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Haitian Prime Minister Arrives In Puerto Rico As UN Security Council Addresses Escalating Crisis

Haitian Prime Minister arrives in Puerto Rico as UN Security Council addresses escalating crisis. According to a spokesperson for Puerto Rico's governor who spoke to reporters, a plane carrying Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry landed in Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

Author:Hajra Shannon
Reviewer:Paula M. Graham
Mar 07, 202436 Shares18.2K Views
Haitian Prime Minister arrives in Puerto Ricoas UN Security Council addresses escalating crisis. According to a spokesperson for Puerto Rico's governor who spoke to reporters, a plane carrying Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry landed in Puerto Rico on Tuesday. However, details remained scarce, with the spokesperson mentioning that federal agents from US Customs and Border Protection were handling the situation.
Port-au-Prince has been rocked by a series of coordinated gang attacks targeting law enforcement and government institutions. These attacks, which included the burning of police stations and the release of thousands of inmates from prisons, were described by one gang leader as an attempt to overthrow Henry's government.
The violence unfolded while Henry was in Kenya, where he had signed an agreement for a Kenyan-led mission of 1,000 police officers to restore security in Haiti. Henry's last public appearance was reportedly in Kenya on Friday before he arrived in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, as stated by the spokesperson.
Amid escalating violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's government declared a state of emergency on Sunday. The United Nations reported that 15,000 people were compelled to flee their homes in the capital, joining the over 300,000 who had previously been displaced by gang violence.
The government attributed the state of emergency to the worsening security situation, particularly the surge in violent criminal activities carried out by armed gangs. Finance Minister Patrick Boivert's statement highlighted a range of crimes, including kidnappings, killings, violence targeting women and children, and looting.

Gangs Overpower Police

Port-au-Prince has reportedly fallen under the control of gangs, according to Occil Francisco, a spokesperson for the police union Synapoha. Francisco stated on Tuesday that at least eight police stations in the capital have been overrun by gang assaults.
Additionally, he noted that the police academy, which houses over 780 officers in training, is under attack by individuals linked to gang leader Vitel’Homme Innocent. The police union is calling on officials to bolster the operational and reactive capabilities of the national police force to ensure the safety of civilians.
"We can say that our leadership has failed, and the police do not have the means to right this situation in Port-au-Prince," he said.
The surge in violence has led the Dominican Republic to halt all cargo and passenger flights to and from its neighboring country, Haiti. Dominican President Luis Abinader announced on Monday the implementation of heightened security measures along the border with Haiti. He emphasized that any Haitian prisoner attempting to cross into the Dominican Republic would face severe consequences.
Meanwhile, aid organizations are mobilizing to assist the residents of Port-au-Prince. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, stated its intention to expand its operations in the capital to provide medical care for the growing number of injured individuals.
"The violence has taken on a new dimension since last weekend, causing a massive number of casualties," MSF said in a statement Tuesday.
The aid group has faced challenges in delivering assistance to Haitians due to obstacles in accessing the country's primary port and the closure of the international airport.
We fear we will run out of medicines and medical supplies, which are absolutely essential to meet the enormous needs we are facing at the moment.- Haiti MSF head Mumuza Muhindo Musubah
The United Nations reports that approximately 5.5 million people, constituting half of Haiti's population, require humanitarian aid.
A police officer walking by a police station set on fire by armed gangs
A police officer walking by a police station set on fire by armed gangs

UN Security Council Meets On Haiti Crisis

The UN Security Council convened an emergency session on Wednesday to address the escalating violence in Haiti, while the United States intensified pressure on Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who was notably absent, to facilitate a political resolution.
Armed gangs, holding control over significant portions of the country, launched coordinated attacks aimed at ousting Henry last week. These attacks targeted the airport, prisons, and police stations, heightening the risk of a full-scale civil conflict.
The United States called for Henry to oversee free and fair elections but stopped short of demanding his resignation, a key demand of influential gang leader Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier.
Henry has been in power since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021. Initially slated to leave office in February, Henry instead entered a power-sharing agreement with the opposition until new elections could be organized. On Tuesday, Cherizier issued a stark warning, stating that unless Henry resigned, the escalating chaos would spiral into civil war and widespread bloodshed.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the urgent need for financial backing for the multinational police mission, citing the rapidly deteriorating security conditions. During the closed-door session, Maria Isabel Salvador, the UN representative in Haiti, was scheduled to provide a remote briefing to the Security Council.
"Hundreds of thousands of children and families are displaced and cut off from lifesaving services and aid as armed groups rule the streets," Catherine Russell, head of UNICEF, said Tuesday. "The world must not stand idle."
After several months of setbacks, the UN Security Council granted approval in October for a multinational policing mission spearheaded by Kenya. However, the deployment has been hindered by legal challenges in Kenyan courts. Although Nairobi and Port-au-Prince signed a bilateral agreement for the mission on Friday, a definitive commencement date is yet to be established.
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Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannon

Paula M. Graham

Paula M. Graham

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