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Haiti - FLASH : Terror settles in the Artibonite
25/02/2023 08:19:48

Haiti - FLASH : Terror settles in the Artibonite
Friday, February 24, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) in a statement expressed concern about the brutality of the violence perpetrated on local populations by a gang in the department of Artibonite.

Since October 2022, the local populations of the Artibonite Valley have been victims of the resurgence of violence by the most redoubtable armed gang of Savien "Baz Gran Grif". At least 69 bullet killings and 83 injured people have been recorded as of February 23, 2023. Savien's gangs ["Baz Gran Grif", "Kokorat san ras" and others] have created a climate of terror, characterized by looting, assassinations, kidnappings, destruction, extortion, hijacking of goods trucks and acts of rape on young girls and women in the communes of Liancourt, Verrettes, Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite and L'Estère.

Farmers' crops and livestock are systematically stolen. Thousands of members of the population have fled their residences to take refuge in other communes of the department.

The most recent wave of violence has taken place since January 25, when the "Baz Gran Grif" gang launched large-scale attacks on the Liancourt sub-police station in which 6 Haitian National Police officers were killed https://www.icihaiti.com/en/news-38701-icihaiti-insecurity-6-police-officers-killed-in-clashes-with-the-gran-grif-gang.html

On the night of Wednesday February 8 to Thursday February 9, 2023, in the commune of Verrettes (Artibonite), more precisely in the city of Deschapelles, at least eight (8) people were shot dead and around ten others injured, during an attack by the same gang. During the same attack, at least 18 people were kidnapped, around 50 houses were looted and thousands of people were forced to leave their residences to take refuge in neighboring areas.

Due to the insecurity, the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, located in the town of Deschapelles and which provides services to approximately 700,000 people in the region, has suspended all its activities since February 16. Several schools in the city remain closed, and commercial and public transit activity has slowed significantly since the attacks.

Despite the measures taken by the National Police High Command, the police officers assigned to police stations and sub-stations such as Liancourt, Petit-Rivière de l'Artibonite, Désarmes, Verrettes and l'Estère were forced to abandon the places under threat from armed gangs operating in the department

The United Nations in Haiti strongly condemns these acts of violence against the population and expresses its deep concern for the thousands of displaced persons. He is also alarmed at how quickly the "Baz Gran Grif" gang has expanded into new areas.

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