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Haiti - FLASH : 1/3 of Port-au-Prince serves as a battlefield for nearly 95 gangs
New escalations of violence in the neighbourhoods of Bas-Delmas, Martissant and Cité-Soleil generate widespread panic and new population displacements.
Humanitarian access remains a serious challenge and assistance continues to be delayed despite the efforts of partners to reach the affected population.
Camp Lapiste, where hundreds of people with disabilities found refuge after the 2010 earthquake, was burnt down by armed men on 17 June. Dozens of people with disabilities have sought refuge in the Saint Yves church.
Escalating violence and roadblocks continue to paralyze economic activity across the country. Due to the situation, transport activity has been drastically reduced, creating bottlenecks in supply chains leading to critical shortages of gasoline and diesel and increased prices of basic foodstuffs.
Health centres in the conflict-affected areas are barely functioning as the mobility of staff and the delivery of critical medical supplies continue to be restricted, further limiting their capacity to receive and treat victims of violence, including gender-based violence (GBV), and COVID-19 patients amid a recent surge in cases and deaths. https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-34060-haiti-flash-the-country-crosses-the-threshold-of-400-dead.html
Situation overview :
Around a third of Port-au-Prince’s territory is affected by the criminal activity and violence propagated by an estimated 95 armed gangs. Since 1 June, a significant upsurge in deadly clashes between these rival gangs in the metropolitan area, triggered by a reconfiguration of gang alliances and ongoing territorial disputes, continue to fuel widespread insecurity and displacement, with devastating consequences for the civilian population. The situation has worsened over the last five days and will likely continue to deteriorate in the coming weeks, as gangs are expected to fight back to regain territorial control, potentially triggering new population movements.
Between 17 and 19 June, the areas of Bas-Delmas, St. Martin and Bel’Air have been particularly hard hit by escalating violence. Bas-Delmas, particularly Delmas 2, 4, 6 and 8, is a very densely populated, underprivileged neighbourhood. Violent clashes between rival gangs and armed groups have isolated the population over the last few days, pushing them into a completely insecure and precarious situation.
On 17 June, a police officer was killed by a gang in Bas-Delmas, provoking a counterattack by the police using tear gas against the civilian population that had previously found refuge at the BNC car park. The population was forced to flee to neighboring areas in order to escape the automatic gunfire and flames of burning houses. The following day, on 18 June, a police inspector was shot dead in the commune of Pétion-Ville.
Also on 17 June, armed individuals set fire to Camp Lapiste that hosted many people with disabilities who found shelter there in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. The Organization of Hearts for Change for Haiti's Impoverished Children (OCCED'H), a local non-governmental organization (NGO) in Bas-Delmas, took the risk of entering the conflict zone to save dozens of people living with disabilities, including people with mobility, hearing and vision impairments. During the police operation, families were separated and mothers were desperately searching for their children. Clashes are also continuing in other neighbourhoods, rendering the situation extremely volatile.
The territorial control of gangs had already led to the desertion of the commercial district in downtown Port-au-Prince. Gangs are strengthening their control over a critical area covering hundreds of hectares of an industrial zone, with warehouses and factories that are at the heart of Haiti’s economic life, especially along the road to the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, where there is a high concentration of car dealerships, commercial bank branches and businesses. Armed groups have attacked businesses, stealing food and other supplies, while warehouses continue to be targeted by looters. According to initial estimates, losses to the looted food warehouses amount to several million dollars in goods and equipment.
Key figures :
1.5M people affected :
1.1M Martissant, Bas-Delmas, Saint-Martin, Bel’Air, Cité-Soleil
400Kin southern departments
1.1M people in need of assistance :
14K IDPs in organised and spontaneous sites since June 2021
1.1M people without access to essential services in Martissant, Bas-Delmas
214 K targeted for emergency assistance :
3K IDPs in organized sites2.5KIDPs in spontaneous sites
208.5K people without access to essential services in Martissant, Bas-Delmas areas
17K internally displaced :
Bel’Air: 1,242 (Aug 2020)
from Tabarre Issa: 2,160(Mar 2021)Since June 2021:
Toussaint Brave: 413(IOM)
Carrefour (Sports Centre): 1,115(IOM)
Delmas 2 (Salvation Army): 500(tbc)
Delmas 2 (Ecole Komite): 1,000(tbc)
Eglise St. Yves: 1,000(tbc)
Delmas 103: 500(tbc)
Saint Martin/Delmas 2: 4,000(tbc) (*)
Others: 5,110 (estimates within host families and other departments)
(*) The whereabouts of 4,000 of the 7,000 IDPs in Delmas 2 are unknown following the fighting that took place in Delmas 2 on 18 and 19 June"
See also :