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Haiti National Palace Attack

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti, saw a surge in gang violence with coordinated attacks on two police stations near the National Palace on Friday night.

This wave of aggression, aimed at toppling Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s government, was confirmed by gang leader Jimmy Cherizier.

The Haitian capital is in turmoil, with gangs burning police stations, freeing inmates, and threatening civil war if the Prime Minister doesn’t resign. Prime Minister Henry, who was abroad securing a multinational mission for security, is struggling to return and is reportedly in Puerto Rico.

The Haitian police union, Synapoha, has called for all officers to reinforce their stations, emphasizing unity and the need for adequate support from leadership.

The United Nations reported that the police had managed to repel coordinated gang attacks on key infrastructures, including the airport.

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A state of emergency is in place until April 3 in the West Region and Port-au-Prince, with a curfew extended until March 10. The escalating violence has displaced tens of thousands, further adding to the number of people already forced from their homes due to gang activity.

Hospitals have not been spared, with only one public hospital still operational in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. The dire situation has led to concerns about the lack of basic necessities for the displaced civilians.

The international community is aware, with Canada reporting a protest at its embassy and the United States considering “contingency options.” CARICOM, of which Haiti is a member, will discuss the crisis in an upcoming meeting in Kingston, Jamaica.

The attacks on the National Palace, a symbol of Haitian federal governance, were swift and coordinated, involving multiple gangs. The palace, vacant since President Jovenel Mo├»se’s assassination in July 2021, remains a guarded emblem of the state. The U.S. State Department has advised American citizens to depart Haiti due to the gang violence.

This recent outbreak of violence underscores the deepening crisis in Haiti, where the government struggles to maintain control and the population suffers from the consequences of lawlessness and gang dominance.

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