Haiti: More than 471 dead, injured or missing in Cité Soleil between July 8 and 17


More than 471 people were killed, injured or missing in violence between gangs in Cité Soleil, on the outskirts of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, from July 8 to 17, the UN said. Monday.

"Serious incidents of sexual violence against women and girls, as well as boys recruited by gangs, have also been reported," the United Nations said in a statement.

About 3.000 inhabitants of this commune, the poorest in the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince, had to flee their homes, including "hundreds of unaccompanied children".

Humanitarian agencies, which have started to provide assistance to the most vulnerable people, report that the security situation is still very fragile.

The UN deplores in its statement that "access to health care (is) limited or non-existent, with many health centers closed and access of medical personnel to the area limited, while food and water is lacking”.

For more than two years, gangs who enjoy widespread impunity have extended their territorial hold beyond the slums of the Haitian capital and are increasing the number of villainous kidnappings.

Ulrika Richardson, United Nations coordinator in Haiti, called in the text "all parties to end the deadly violence and to remain committed to maintaining an open humanitarian corridor to Cité Soleil in order to allow unhindered access to aid. humanitarian and medical assistance to civilians in need”.

Faced with an understaffed and under-equipped national police force, criminal gangs have, since the beginning of June, attacked key institutions in Port-au-Prince, such as the courthouse and the port administration. .

His legitimacy disputed, Prime Minister Ariel Henry has not yet spoken on this outbreak of violence which notably ravaged Cité Soleil in early July.

Haiti is mired in a political crisis resulting from the last elections, held at the end of 2016. The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, by an armed commando at his home on July 7, 2021, has profoundly aggravated the situation.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock.com / LighthunterWS

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