PRINCE PORT. Haiti (HPD) — Some 96,000 people have fled their homes in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, according to the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration, amid a crisis that has prompted the government to call for immediate troops. foreigners.
The IOM said the gangs carry out “extortion, kidnapping and other criminal acts in a context characterized by deep inequalities, high levels of deprivation of basic necessities and a fragmented security environment.”
The gangs are believed to control around 60% of Port-au-Prince, where they are raping people and burning down homes as they struggle to expand their territorial control following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021, according to the United Nations.
Haitians are also facing shortages of fuel, water and other basic items, as well as an outbreak of cholera and the unsanitary state of government shelters, where thousands have lived for months after fleeing violence.
1,700 cases of cholera with 40 deaths have been reported, although health authorities believe the numbers are much higher.
Another 17,000 people have been homeless since a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southwestern Haiti in August 2021.
Weeks ago, the government called for troops when one of the most powerful gangs surrounded a fuel terminal in Port-au-Prince, forcing the closure of gas stations and businesses.
The international community has sent armored vehicles and other supplies to bolster the national police, but the UN Security Council has yet to vote on the troop request.