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Haiti declares state of emergency after jailbreak, escalating gang violence

01:50 AM Mar 05, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
haiti declares state of emergency after jailbreak  escalating gang violence
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New Delhi, Mar 4: The Haitian government has declared a 72-hour state of emergency following an attack by armed gangs on a major prison inPort-au-Prince. At least 12 individuals lost their lives, and approximately 3,700 inmates managed to escape during the jailbreak, prompting widespread concern over public safety and security.

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Gang leaders, aiming to compel the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who was out of the country at the time, orchestrated the assault. These groups hold sway over approximately 80% of Port-au-Prince, exacerbating the longstanding issue of gang violence that has plagued Haiti for years.

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According to a government statement, two prisons—one in the capital and another in the nearby area of Croix des Bouquets—were stormed over the weekend. The government deemed these acts of "disobedience" as severe threats to national security, prompting the immediate institution of a nighttime curfew starting at 20:00 local time on Monday.

Reports from Haitian media indicated that in addition to the prison break, other police stations were also targeted in attacks, diverting authorities' attention and facilitating the coordinated assault on the jails.

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Among the detainees in Port-au-Prince were gang members implicated in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021. The recent escalation in violence commenced on Thursday when Prime Minister Henry travelled to Nairobi to discuss the deployment of a multinational security force led by Kenya to Haiti.

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Gang leader Jimmy Chérizier, also known as "Barbecue," announced a coordinated effort to remove him from power, consolidating support from armed groups across provincial towns and the capital.

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