State of emergency announced in Haiti due to great prisonbreak

(MENAFN) In the aftermath of a colossal jailbreak orchestrated by armed gangs in Haiti, the government has declared a three-day state of emergency and imposed a night-time curfew. The daring attacks, which targeted the country's two largest prisons over the weekend, resulted in the escape of thousands of prisoners. The brazen move by the armed groups has led to heightened tensions, with gang leaders now demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is currently abroad on a trip to Kenya.

Reports indicate that the targeted prisons include Haiti's National Penitentiary in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and another facility in nearby Croix-des-Bouquets. Almost all of the approximately 4,000 inmates in the Port-au-Prince prison are said to have fled during the attacks, which claimed the lives of at least 12 people, including police officers.

Finance Minister Patrick Boisvert, assuming government responsibilities in the absence of Prime Minister Henry, has urged the police to employ "all legal means at their disposal" to recapture the escaped prisoners and enforce the imposed curfew.

The surge in violence began last Thursday when Prime Minister Henry departed for Nairobi in an attempt to secure a United Nations-backed security force to combat the escalating gang activities in Haiti. In his absence, a notorious gang leader known as 'Barbecue,' a former elite police officer now leading a gang federation, declared a coordinated attack to prevent Henry's return. 'Barbecue' has claimed responsibility for the orchestrated violence.

Among the detainees in the Port-au-Prince prison were individuals charged in connection with the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Prime Minister Henry assumed office following Moïse's assassination and has faced challenges in organizing parliamentary and presidential elections, which have been postponed multiple times and have not occurred for nearly a decade.

As Haiti grapples with the aftermath of the massive jailbreak and the demand for the prime minister's resignation, the government's declaration of a state of emergency underscores the precarious security situation and the urgent need for comprehensive measures to restore order.


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