Street Vendors running nearby Toussaint Louverure International Airport as armed gangs fired gunshots, tried to enter the airport facility to prevent Prime Minister Ariel Henry to enter the country on March 4, 2024 Photo by Guerinald Louis for Go West Now

Overview:

The Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) criticizes delays in the international response to Haiti's security crisis, stressing the vital link between security and democracy. This statement comes as armed gangs wreak havoc, attacking the National police and government facilities and breaking into prisons escalating tensions in the capital.

PORT-AU-PRINCE —The Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, OAS, Luis Almagro, has sharply criticized the prolonged inaction of the international community, including the United Nations, in addressing Haiti's security crisis. Almagro emphasizes the urgent need for concerted efforts to restore stability in Haïti.

“Without security, there will be no democracy,” said the Secretary-General of the OAS. “It is more necessary than ever to promote cooperation efforts in the United Nations to restore security in the country. It is irresponsible that the necessary measures and actions continue to be delayed.”

Almagro expressed solidarity with the Haitian people, both in the country and within the diaspora, reiterating a commitment to advancing the democratization process in Haiti. He voiced deep concern about Haiti's current security crisis, in a press release on March 4th

“It is more necessary than ever to promote cooperation efforts in the United Nations to restore security in the country. It is irresponsible that the necessary measures and actions continue to be delayed.”

Luis Almagro, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States. 

Almagro's remarks come after three days of intense tension, during which armed bandits raided prisons, freeing nearly 3,600 inmates.

Since February 29th, Port-au-Prince and its neighborhoods have been gripped by violence perpetrated by armed gangs, targeting law enforcement, freeing prisoners, and disrupting civilian life. Gang leaders purportedly seek to overthrow Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Consequently, daily activities in the capital have ground to a halt, with schools closed, businesses shuttered, and transportation paralyzed. International repercussions include flight suspensions and embassy closures.

The deteriorating security situation has prompted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to advocate for urgent action, emphasizing financial support for the Multinational Security Support Mission (MSS) to quell unrest and prevent further chaos.

Guterres addressed leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighting the critical need for solidarity in combating the escalating gang violence and stressing the imperative for a political solution to address Haiti's underlying issues.

The United States authorities, deeply engaged in facilitating the Multinational Security Support mission's deployment in Haiti, have responded earnestly to the escalating violence. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, in an email to VOA, underscored the United States' vigilant monitoring of the situation and unequivocal condemnation of efforts to destabilize Haiti.

Despite international calls for action, armed gangs continue to wreak havoc. Local media reports indicate a resurgence of armed individual attacks on March 4th, with gangs attempting to seize control of Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

In response, the government has imposed a state of emergency and a curfew across Haïti’s capital. The recent prison escapes have underscored the gravity of Haiti's security crisis, further exacerbating tensions and prompting urgent calls for intervention.

I am Juhakenson Blaise, a journalist based in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I cover the news that develops in this city and deals with other subjects related to the experience of Haitians for the Haitian Times newspaper. I am also a lover of poetry.

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