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Haiti - FLASH : Short term forecasts on insecurity in Haiti
Forecast for Haiti :
High levels of gang violence and insecurity are likely to persist in Haiti through at least mid-December, prompting the continuation of local self-defense efforts. Vigilante movements remain active in several locations, ranging from main cities, such as Port-au-Prince, to remote rural areas that lack sufficient policing. Retaliatory gang attacks are possible in areas with vigilante movements where residents regularly lynch suspected gang members and local criminals.
Tensions will likely remain high in some border areas, such as Ounaminthe, amid continuing border restrictions imposed by the Dominican Republic. Violent clashes near key border crossings, as well as protests in response to the economic impacts of the border restrictions, remain likely in the coming weeks.
Plans to deploy a Kenya-led international peacekeeping force to Haiti are facing resistance from Nairobi. On Nov. 9, Kenya's Interior Ministry stated that the government would not permit the deployment of the country's security forces to Haiti until they have appropriate funding and training. It was not immediately clear when these conditions would be met. Kenya's Parliament also has yet to approve the deployment, and several aspects of the multinational peacekeeping force remain undefined. As a result, the deployment still seems unlikely to materialize in the short term.
Violent crimes and kidnappings :
Gang activity and violent attacks will likely continue targeting security forces and civilians nationwide. Overall, the security situation will likely continue to deteriorate in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, where gangs act as de facto authorities in many neighborhoods and can directly threaten organizations. The incidence of violent crime is trending upward: between July 1 and Sept. 30, more than 1,230 homicides were reported in Haiti, greatly exceeding the 577 homicides recorded during the same period in 2022.
Kidnapping also poses an increasingly high threat in the country. More than 700 kidnappings were reported July 1-Sept. 30, marking an increase of more than 200 percent by comparison with the same period in 2022. In recent years, criminal groups have also more frequently kidnapped foreign nationals, especially those in the capital's downtown area and on highways. The risk of kidnappings of foreign nationals is also high in the Croix-des-Bouquets area, where the 400 Mawozo gang operates.
Extortion remains a concern as criminal groups often demand payments from those using roads and highways under their control. Fuel shortages remain possible as gangs continue to control key areas around essential infrastructure, such as the Varreux Terminal, and have the ability to block access to the terminal. Electricity outages due to fuel shortages have occurred and remain likely.
Areas in and around the capital most severely affected by violent crime include Carrefour, Drouillard, Champs-de-Mars, Croix-des-Bouquets, Laboule 12, Cite Soleil, Martissant, Bel Air, Toussaint Brave, Bas-Delmas, Santo, Torcelle, and Fontamara. Shooting incidents along the Airport Road are common and can affect travelers going to and from Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP). Greater levels of violence have also been recorded in the Tabarre area in recent months, near the US Embassy.
Gender-based violence, including rape, remains severely underreported nationwide. However, several international organizations, including the UN, have warned that these crimes pose a significant threat, especially in low-income areas dominated by gangs.
Civil unrest :
Protests denouncing rising levels of insecurity, limited access to fuel, and socioeconomic issues are likely to continue posing challenges for businesses operating in Haiti. Significant unrest demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry also remains possible. Additionally, any significant announcements regarding plans for foreign involvement in Haiti's security operations can trigger unrest. Such protests may also increase the risk for foreign businesses, as demonstrators could mistake private foreign companies for foreign government initiatives.
Authorities will likely deploy heavy security to monitor any large demonstrations that materialize, especially near government buildings as well as key highways and roads. There is an elevated threat of clashes between police and demonstrators at all anti-government protests. Protesters commonly block roads, and even small demonstrations can cause significant disruptions. Demonstrators could attempt to block the route to PAP, burn vehicles, and vandalize private businesses. If police officers join the protests, decreased security around key areas of the capital is possible. Protests in the capital are common in Delmas, Tabarre, Petionville, and Canapé-Vert; moreover, central areas of Cap-Haitian, Gonaives, Les Cayes, and Jacmel are likely to be affected by calls for nationwide protests. Violent and disruptive demonstrations may significantly limit the availability of public and private transportation options in Haiti.