More than 50,000 people have already fled Haiti amid the crisis

More than 50,000 people have already fled Haiti amid the crisis
More than 50,000 people have already fled Haiti amid the crisis

The situation in Haiti has reached alarming marks. More of 53,000 people fled the capital, Port-au-Prince, only in the first three weeks of March 2024. Conflict between armed gangs has increased insecurity in the city, leading to a humanitarian crisis unprecedented in the country’s modern history.

How has the conflict affected the population of Port-au-Prince?

Between March 8 and 27, 2024, violence intensified to such an extent that tens of thousands of inhabitants were forced to leave their homes in search of safety. The Easter holidays and the beginning of April were marked by a new increase in violence. UN Human Rights Chief Volker Turk highlighted the seriousness of human rights abuses taking place in the country, including murders, kidnappings and sexual violence.

Armed gangs not only spread terror among the population, but also made it difficult to transport essential goods and humanitarian aid to the capital, exacerbating the crisis.

Where are people fleeing to?

Most displaced people have sought refuge in the south of the country, a region still recovering from a devastating earthquake in 2021. Surprisingly, only 4% expressed a desire to emigrate, mainly to the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Haiti. However, in the face of the crisis, the Dominican Republic government has reinforced border security and ruled out the creation of refugee camps, deporting tens of thousands of Haitians back to the crisis.

What are the prospects for a political solution?

In the political sphere, the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry on March 11, while he was in the United States, lit a spark of hope for a transition of power. A transitional presidential council, made up of representatives of political parties and civil society groups proposed by regional leaders in Jamaica, was expected to take over the government. However, three weeks after the announcement, the installation of the council has not yet taken place due to internal conflicts, threats and resignations.

In this troubled context, members of the Haitian army and more than 50 civil associations signed a declaration calling for an alternative transition method, as provided for in the constitution, which would appoint a judge from the Supreme Court of Haiti as provisional president.

Is there hope for Haiti?

Despite the adversities, the de facto government in Haiti issued a statement earlier this week reinforcing its commitment to working for a peaceful transition of power to the presidential council “as quickly as possible.” However, the situation remains uncertain, and the international community has been called upon to intervene in support of the Haitian people.

What is emerging in Haiti is a scenario in which the need for immediate humanitarian aid and concrete measures for a political resolution are urgent. The exit from the conflict must prioritize the security and well-being of citizens, seeking to restore peace and stability in the country.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: people fled Haiti crisis



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