Haiti - Social : Riot in Cap-Haitien, 16 wounded, 2 dead - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Social : Riot in Cap-Haitien, 16 wounded, 2 dead
16/11/2010 10:28:02

Haiti - Social : Riot in Cap-Haitien, 16 wounded, 2 dead
On Monday, a major demonstration, initially peaceful, to Cap-Haitien, a city located about 300 km north of the capital Port-au-Prince, soon turned to violence and riot. The protesters demanded the departure of MINUSTAH of the country and a better manage of the health crisis. In early afternoon, protesters had cut off access to the bridge that connects the departments of Nord and Nord-Est.

Forces of the United Nations Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the Haitian National Police (PNH) are rapidly intervened to try to disperse the angry demonstrators, with tear gas.

Several hundreds (witnesses speak about several thousands) demonstrators, armed with sticks and iron bar, have reacts by throwing stones and bottles on the police. Demonstrators have tried in vain to reach two bases of MINUSTAH in Cap Haitien, one occupied by Chilean and the other by Nepaleses to ask them to leave the city and country. Citizens urged the authorities to assume their responsibilities, others were throwing anti-government slogans.

In addition, population health authorities accused of mismanaging the cholera. The cholera outbreak has already claimed over 200 lives in the North, including a hundred in Cap-Haitien, according to a local official of the Ministry of Health. Corpses of people died of cholera, littered during the weekend, the streets of the city. "At least 20 bodies have been collected since Friday by the health authorities" reported an official of the city.

The tension is rising rapidly and barricades of burning tires were erected in several streets of the city, two sub-police station were set ablaze and vehicles that were inside were burned, and windshields of vehicles were broken, police said.

The police have used their weapons. Vincenzo Pugliese, spokesman for the MINUSTAH said initially that it was the national police who had fired. An Information rejected by CANEUS Joanis, the departmental director of the PNH, who wished to make clear that instructions had been given to officers not to use their weapons "We did not shoot" said Director "We intervened to disperse the demonstration". It has not been able to specify from where came the shooting that wounded and killed two demonstrators. He did not rule out that there were armed people in the demonstration that would have fired on security forces.

These riots have been 2 shot dead and at least 16 injured, 2 are in serious condition according a police source. The body of one of two protesters was found in front of the base Minsutah in Quartier-Morin, a township on the outskirts of Cap Haitien. An investigation was initiated to determine the exact circumstances of his death.

The police-court magistrate Bimps Noël, which made the report of the death, declared while speaking about the peacekeepers "Initially, they fired to disperse the demonstrators and, secondly, I feel that they fired at breast height"

Dr. Yves Jasmin, departmental director of the Ministry of Health reported receiving many wounded, adding that the use of tear gas caused injuries, as well the crowd movement. It could not specify the number exact of the casualties nor the 2 seriously injureds.

Later in the day, UN forces have acknowledged having shot a protester "This is a demonstrator who was shot in the direction of a soldier and the soldier returned fire in self defense" said the spokesman of MINUSTAH, which deplores the violence against the Haitian police and UN occurred during violent demonstrations in Cap-Haïtien.

"The way the events unfolded suggests that these incidents were politically motivated, aimed at creating a climate of insecurity on the eve of elections" MINUSTAH said in a statement, calling the population to remain vigilant and not being manipulated by enemies of stability and democracy.

The presidential candidate, Leslie Voltaire, which was campaigning in the Greater North, called on health authorities and their international partners to intervene to calm the population and to restore confidence "The response must be rapid and health, not police, if not this movement could spread to other regions of the country."

Shots were heard until late afternoon in the neighborhood Carrénage. In Cap-Haitien, the situation remained tense on Monday night to Tuesday. Witnesses said sporadic shooting was heard in the city, while bands of plunderers, had started to ransack a warehouse of food of an international organization. The citizens of the Cap announced the continuation of their movement.

S/ HaitiLibre

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