CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.

Filter
Filters Active
Crisis Watch Filter
Clear Filters

January 2024

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Former rebel leader rallied support for protests to topple acting PM Henry, raising risk of instability in coming weeks. 

Former rebel leader sought to oust PM. With acting PM Henry due to step down on 7 Feb but unlikely to stick to his pledge, supporters of former rebel leader Guy Philippe 15 Jan launched protests in several cities demanding Henry’s resignation. Philippe, meanwhile, expanded alliances with security forces and political actors as he called on “all sectors” to join “revolution” to transform Haiti. Most notably, he forged alliance with several units of Brigade for the Security of Protected Areas (BSAP), armed body attached to National Agency for Protected Areas led by his close friend Jeantel Joseph. Joseph took part in several anti-govt demonstrations and promised to bring protests to capital Port-au-Prince to oust Henry, prompting govt 23 Jan to sack him; move angered BSAP members, who 24 Jan clashed with police in north east Ouanaminthe commune. Govt 29 Jan ordered all BSAP workers to report to nearest Ministry of Environment office for registration. Philippe’s movement could gain steam in coming weeks, especially if gangs join alliance, raising risk of clashes in Port-au-Prince and other cities. 

Gang-related insecurity persisted in capital and in south. In Mariani village south west of Port-au-Prince, police operations failed to oust gang led by alias Bout ba, whose members throughout Jan kidnapped dozens along National Route 2 and attacked people travelling by boat to avoid route. In Port-au-Prince, members of Bel-Air gang led by Kempès Sanon 16 Jan launched several days’ attack on Solino neighbourhood, trapping residents in their homes and killing unconfirmed number. Clashes between G9 coalition and at least two gangs that defected from coalition 28 Jan broke out in capital. 

Kenyan court prohibited police deployment to Haiti. Kenya’s High Court 26 Jan prohibited deployment of police officers to Haiti, saying National Security Council lacked authority to dispatch police beyond Kenya’s borders and that no “reciprocal agreement” exists between two nations; Kenyan President William Ruto 30 Jan, however, said mission “is on course” and could go ahead “as soon as next week”.

December 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Security situation remained dire, with violence in capital Port-au-Prince and anti-gang operations in south; govt-opposition negotiations failed to secure deal; and preparations for multinational mission continued.

Gang-related insecurity persisted in capital and in south. Gang violence continued to spread in capital; notably, NGO Doctors Without Borders 15 Dec indefinitely suspended activities at emergency centre in Turgeau district after group of armed men 12 Dec stopped ambulance leaving facility and killed patient. Gunmen 25 Dec killed four members of family and kidnapped four others in Croix-des-Bouquet district. Meanwhile, public prosecutors in southern Haiti carried out operations against gangs amid concerns over legality. Notably, Minister of Justice Emmelie Prophète 15 Dec publicly criticised Miragoâne commune’s public prosecutor Jean Ernest Muscadin for conducting illegal operation to drive out gang that had taken over Mariani village south west of Port-au-Prince in early Nov.

Negotiations between interim govt and opposition continued. CARICOM (body of Caribbean nations) experts 6-14 Dec visited Haiti for fifth round of negotiations between interim govt and opposition, but no agreement was reached. Spokesperson for civil society platform Montana Accord 8 Dec declined invitation to join talks, alleging disagreement over attendees and that acting PM Henry’s resignation was not on agenda; next day, however, sixteen members of platform’s leadership denounced spokesperson’s unilateral decision and said they would continue negotiations. UN Sec Gen 7 Dec expressed concern over limited progress of dialogue.

Reciprocal visits took place in preparation for Kenyan-led multinational mission. Kenyan delegation 5 Dec visited Haiti and met with govt officials and U.S. diplomats. Head of police Frantz Elbé 13-15 Dec travelled to Kenya for fact-finding mission and bilateral discussions between security forces; media later suggested first batch of 300 officers may arrive in Feb 2024.

In other important developments. UN Security Council 8 Dec added four gang leaders to sanctions list, while UK and U.S. sanctioned various former officials for involvement in abuses and corruption. Judge in Miami 19 Dec sentenced former Haitian senator to life in prison for conspiring to kill President Moïse in 2021.

November 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Ever-worsening gang violence displaced thousands, Kenya’s supreme court blocked police deployment to Haiti, and negotiations to resolve political crisis failed to produce breakthrough.

Gang efforts to expand territory triggered mass displacement. Alleged members of Grand Ravine gang 1 Nov launched offensive in Mariani district south-west of capital Port-au-Prince to expand territory along National Route 2 and increase extortion opportunities; International Organization for Migration 6 Nov estimated 2,500 people were displaced in five days of fighting. Meanwhile, Iskar Andrice, one of G9 gang coalition’s founders and key leaders, 12 Nov died in unclear circumstances; leader of rival Gpèp coalition Ti Gabriel next day launched attacks in several G9-controlled areas of capital’s Cité Soleil neighbourhood to expand turf; OCHA 17 Nov said clashes killed at least 166 and displaced over 1,000. Iskar’s successor David Ganier aka Black Alex Mana, 21 Nov killed by member of same coalition, James Edmond aka Benji, replacing him as gang head. Bel-Air gang 19 Nov launched offensive to invade Solino neighbourhood of capital.

Kenya’s high court extended orders blocking police deployment to Haiti. Kenya’s parliament 16 Nov approved govt request to deploy 1,000 police officers to Haiti as part of multinational support mission. Hours later, however, Supreme Court extended Oct order blocking deployment until it rules on case in late Jan. Kenyan President Ruto 21 Nov said mission should be 5,000-strong. Meanwhile, poll by Haitian company Diagnostic and Development early Oct found 70% of Haitians favoured deployment of international armed force.

Negotiations between interim govt and opposition made little progress. CARICOM (body of Caribbean nations) experts 8-14 Nov visited Haiti for fourth round of negotiations between govt and opposition but no agreement was reached. Meanwhile, president of High Council for Transition Mirlande Manigat 2 Nov criticised lack of progress in implementing Dec 2022 agreement between acting PM Henry, opposition and civil society to organise new elections.

Dispute with Dominican Republic over canal construction continued. Dominican soldiers 7 Nov breached border wall near site where disputed Haitian canal is being built into Massacre River; Haitians immediately protested, setting up barricades at border and burning tires (see Dominican Republic).

October 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

UN Security Council approved Kenya-led security mission to Haiti, assassination of gang leader sparked inter-gang fighting, and tensions with Dominican Republic remained elevated.

UN approved Kenyan-led multinational mission. UN Security Council 2 Oct authorised one-year Multinational Security Support mission to Haiti, to be reviewed after nine months; force will support Haitian police, including by planning and conducting joint operations, restoring security and creating conditions for free and fair elections. Kenya, who is leading mission, 7 Oct began selecting officers for mission; first group of 200 police officers 10 Oct started pre-mission training in Kenya. High Court of Kenya 9 Oct temporarily blocked deployment amid opposition pressure, 24 Oct extended ban for two weeks.

Assassination of gang leader triggered new waves of violence. Late Sept killing of gang leader from G9 coalition known as Tyson, allegedly by other members of coalition, sparked clashes in following weeks between gangs from G9 and Gpèp coalitions in capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. Notably, clashes 13-14 Oct erupted in La Saline district between at least three G9 gangs, trapping around 400 children and teachers in school. Members of 400 Mawozo gang operating in Croix-des-Bouquets 4 Oct set fire to Thomazeau police station, third such attack in two weeks. Attackers reportedly from Village-de-Dieu gang 18 Oct kidnapped High Council for Transition Sec Gen Antony Virginy Saint Pierre. Meanwhile, UNICEF 3 Oct warned of intensifying violence in Artibonite department, known as Haiti’s breadbasket; UN envoy 23 Oct warned “major crimes” had reached “record highs”.

Spat with Dominican Republic over canal construction continued. After Dominican Republic mid Sept shut border with Haiti over dispute about construction of canal by farmers on Haitian side of Massacre River, Dominican Republic 11 Oct partially reopened border to some commercial activity (see Dominican Republic).

In other important developments. Former senator 10 Oct pleaded guilty to role in 2021 assassination of President Moïse, while authorities 19 Oct arrested key suspect in Port-au-Prince and U.S. court 27 Oct sentenced retired Colombian army officer to life in prison. UN Security Council 19 Oct renewed sanctions regime on Haiti for one year.

September 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Dominican Republic closed its border with Haiti over canal dispute, which risks aggravating ever-worsening humanitarian crisis; gang violence in capital forced thousands to flee.

Dominican Republic closed border with Haiti. Dominican Republic 15 Sept shut all land, air and sea borders with Haiti over dispute about construction of canal by farmers on Haitian side of Massacre River; decision risks harming both countries’ economies when living conditions in Haiti have already deteriorated; UN Haiti expert William O’Neill 18 Sept warned closure would have “dire” humanitarian consequences. Tensions had been escalating in weeks prior to decision. Notably, Dominican govt late Aug raised concerns about potential negative effects of canal on environment and agricultural producers in both countries.

Gang assaults in capital Port-au-Prince triggered mass displacement. Gangs in G-pèp coalition continued offensives in various parts of Port-au-Prince in attempt to expand foothold toward centre. Armed assailants allegedly led by gang leader alias Kempès 6 Sept attempted to invade Solino neighbourhood in downtown Port-au- Prince, prompting civilians to set up roadblocks. Gang violence fuelled new waves of displacement. Notably, International Organisation for Migration 5 Sept reported that gang operations in capital had displaced over 20,000 since mid Aug; alleged members of Canaan gang 22 Sept staged attacks in Saut d’Eau commune and 25 Sept assaulted Mirebalais commune, both near capital, displacing over 10,000 people. Meanwhile, leader of G9 gang coalition Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Chérizier 18, 19 Sept organised demonstrations, pledging to overthrow acting PM Henry.

Dialogue to resolve political crisis stalled. CARICOM (body of Caribbean nations) experts 4-10 Sept visited Haiti in third attempt to progress govt-opposition negotiations. Civil society platform Montana Accord 5 Sept called for Henry’s resignation, however; Henry dismissed calls and continued attending CARICOM- facilitated discussions. CARICOM mediators 11 Sept said tone of negotiations had hardened. Engagés pour le Développement party led by former PM Joseph organised demonstration in Port-au-Prince 17 Sept, during which Joseph announced party was leaving dialogue to join social movements calling for Henry's resignation.

In another important development. UN Security Council members early Sept received first draft of resolution authorising multilateral security mission for Haiti, 2 Oct approved force (await next month’s edition for full coverage).

August 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Gangs sought to capture new territory in capital Port-au-Prince as discussions on deployment of multinational police force moved forward amid calls for broad political consensus.

Gangs mounted assaults aimed at expanding presence in capital. Gangs stepped up operations in various parts of Port-au-Prince in attempt to expand foothold toward centre of capital. Notably, alleged members of Kraze Baryè gang 8 Aug carried out attacks in Tabarre district in push toward main airport where large companies are located. Alleged members of Grand Ravine gang 5 Aug attempted to invade Carrefour-Feuilles district from their Martissant stronghold and several days later took control of local power plant, leaving several districts without electricity and killing police officer in clash; alleged Grand Ravine gang 25 Aug resumed assaults on Carrefour-Feuilles, forcing around 9,000 people to flee. Alleged members of Canaan gang 26 Aug opened fire on hundreds of parishioners armed with machetes and sticks attempting to confront gang leader in Canaan suburbs, which left at least seven dead. Meanwhile, UN humanitarian office 14 Aug reported number of internally displaced persons had reached nearly 195,000.

Discussions on multinational force moved forward. U.S. 1 Aug praised Kenya’s late July offer to consider leading multinational force and urged Haitian stakeholders to “urgently broaden the political consensus”. CARICOM (body of Caribbean nations) 4 Aug welcomed announcements by the Bahamas and Jamaica to commit troops to mission. Following 20-23 Aug security assessment mission to Haiti, Kenya 25 Aug agreed to lead force. Given history of misconduct by external missions in Haiti, NGO Human Rights Watch 14 Aug called for safeguards to prevent abuses. Leader of G9 gang coalition, Jimmy Chérizier aka Barbecue, 16 Aug threatened violence if multinational force commits abuses in poor neighbourhoods.

Dialogue to resolve political crisis made tentative progress. Media outlets reported series of meetings from late July continuing into Aug between main Haitian political groups involved in negotiations to resolve political crisis; CARICOM 14 Aug said its facilitation team had made progress with various stakeholders during virtual meetings.

July 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Rival gangs struck fragile truce as violence expanded beyond capital, Kenya offered to lead multinational security force, and international actors urged compromise to resolve political crisis.

Rival gangs struck truce amid widespread violence. Leaders of rival G9 and G-pèp gang coalitions 1 July agreed truce in Cité Soleil commune of capital Port-au-Prince; local observers expressed doubts about pact’s durability as gangs did not commit to disarmament. UN 3 July said murders and abductions rose for fifth consecutive year, with homicides Jan-June 2023 up 67.5% on same period in 2022; report also said civilian self-defence groups, including Bwa Kale movement, killed at least 224 alleged gang members late April-late June (though movement’s strength has since waned). Armed assailants 23 July attacked Liancourt town (Artibonite), burning down houses and building of local broadcaster as gang violence continued to expand beyond capital.

Kenya offered to lead multinational force. Kenya 29 July said it would consider leading multinational force with contribution of 1,000 police officers to support Haitian National Police (HNP), pending UN approval. Offer came amid growing calls for such a force. Most notably, CARICOM (body of Caribbean nations) heads of state 7 July stressed need to create a “humanitarian and security stabilization corridor under the mandate of a UN Security Council Resolution”; UN Security Council 14 July extended UN mission’s mandate for one year and encouraged countries to provide support to HNP, including through deployment of specialised force.

International actors continued pushing for dialogue to resolve political crisis. UN Sec-Gen António Guterres 1 July urged all actors involved in political negotiations to make the concessions “necessary for the restoration of democratic institutions” during visit to Haiti, while U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken in 5 July meeting with acting PM Ariel Henry stressed urgency of achieving political consensus. CARICOM delegation 12-15 July convened Haitian politicians and civil society leaders for talks aimed at resolving crisis; meeting produced no agreement but delegation 18 July claimed progress toward reducing number of parties in dialogue and refining agenda for negotiations.

Humanitarian situation remained dire. World Food Programme 17 July said it was forced to cut number of people receiving emergency food aid in Haiti by 25% due to lack of funds.

June 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Self-defence groups continued operations to tackle dire gang violence, regional bloc facilitated talks between acting PM Henry and opposition groups, and international actors boosted support for police.

Civilian efforts to confront gangs continued. Self-defence movement known as Bwa Kale continued anti-gang operations in capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, helping curb criminal activities in some places. In Artibonite department, civilians allied with Jean-Denis gang to oust its rival Gran Grif gang; notably, civilians escorted by group 8 June burned several houses where Gran Grif members were staying. Violence continued elsewhere. Notably, armed men reportedly from Kraze Barye gang carried out several assaults in Tabarre neighbourhood of capital, including 7 June attacking private residence of former senator, 9 June setting fire to another senator’s house and 13 June ransacking Jamaican consulate, leading to suspension of consular services. Kraze Barye gang 13 June abducted journalist in Tabarre, released her hours later before 20 June kidnapping her husband, former head of Haiti’s provisional electoral council; dozens of other kidnappings reported.

Dialogue between govt and opposition resumed without major breakthrough. CARICOM, body of Caribbean nations, 11-13 June convened Haitian politicians and civil society leaders in Jamaica for talks aimed at resolving political crisis; High Transitional Council (HTC) members did not attend. Though rekindling dialogue marked positive step, sides made little progress toward creating more inclusive transitional govt. Most major opposition forces called for presidential council during transitional period; acting PM Henry, however, said he is willing only to add more members to HTC. Henry 14 June said dialogue would continue in Port-au-Prince.

International partners stepped up support to Haitian National Police (HNP). U.S. VP Kamala Harris 8 June announced Washington would set up investigative unit with HNP to facilitate investigation and prosecution of transnational crimes; French police 13 June arrived in Port-au-Prince to train special police units; and Canadian FM Mélanie Joly 15 June announced launch of Ottawa-led “joint security coordination cell” based in Dominican Republic to work with HNP, though Dominican Republic denied agreeing to proposal. Henry’s calls for multinational force continued, reiterated by UN official 28 June following country visit, saying “the survival of an entire nation is at stake”.

May 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Civilian self-defence groups expanded anti-gang operations, lynching suspected gang members and fuelling fears of increasingly brutal retaliatory attacks to quell uprising.

Civilians escalated attacks on suspected gang members. Civilian self-defence movement known as Bwa Kale (“peeled wood”) that emerged late April quickly spread through parts of capital Port-au-Prince and beyond as civilians used improvised weapons to hunt down and kill suspected gang members. Fears of escalating violence grew: acting PM Henry 1 May called on vigilantes to “calm down” and hand over suspected members to police; UN human rights office 9 May reported at least 164 killings of suspected gang members in April; and former police chief and current Representative to Organization of American States Léon Charles 13 May said vigilantes are not viable medium- or long-term solution to gang violence, cautioning against extrajudicial executions. Director of National Police Frantz Elbé, however, same day praised his forces for increased operations against gangs and noted civilians’ important supporting role.

Gangs pressed ahead with operations and retaliatory actions. Despite threat of self-defence groups and stepped-up security operations, gang offensives continued in several areas, including north and east of Port-au-Prince. In Onaville town, Canaan gang 14 May reportedly killed ten people attempting to return home after being displaced in April. Gang operating in Titanyen town 17 May ambushed two armoured police vehicles. Gangs also responded to joint police-Bwa Kale efforts; notably Gran Grif and Kokorat San Ras gangs early May intensified joint operations in Artibonite department (north) following late April police raid, supported by civilians, against Kokorat San Ras.

Talks on international intervention continued without breakthrough. Scepticism among international actors about scaling up security assistance in Haiti persisted. Notably, Canadian congressional committee 5 May urged Ottawa to make clear it would “not participate in direct engagement in military operations”. UN Sec-Gen Guterres and Jamaican PM Holness 15 May called on Haitian political actors to reach agreement in order to ease reluctance of international actors to send security mission, saying Haiti posed threat to region.

April 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Mob killed suspected gang members amid spiralling gang violence and concomitant rise of self-defence groups, govt efforts to organise elections continued, and UN ramped up aid.

Local populations mobilised as gang violence soared. Gangs continued to target police and civilians, expanding their territory in capital Port-au-Prince and Artibonite department. Notably, in Port-au-Prince’s Pétionville commune, Kraze Baryè group 5 April set fire to police station, Ti Makak gang 9 April killed three policemen; in Croix-des-Bouquets commune, 400 Mawozo gang 16 April killed one police officer. Two journalists also killed during month. UN 24 April said insecurity had “reached levels comparable to countries in armed conflict” and reiterated calls for multinational security mission. Following UN report late March about worrying emergence of self-defence groups, Canaan gang 5 April attacked Onaville town, allegedly targeting locals who had formed surveillance brigade; residents in Port-au-Prince 24 April burned to death 13 suspected gang members in what police described as “a lynching”; scores of men 25 April reportedly patrolled capital’s Canape Vert neighbourhood, armed with machetes, saying “we are planning to fight and keep our neighbourhoods clean of [gangs]”.

Govt pushed ahead with election planning. Interim govt moved forward with steps toward organising elections, but continued to forgo talks with political parties that refuse to join coalition, as stipulated in 21 December Accord – agreement between acting PM Henry and several opposition forces. Notably, Henry 12 April asked representatives from various sectors to designate potential candidates for Electoral Council, charged with organising vote; National Association of Haitian Media 24 April declined Henry’s invitation to nominate two candidates for Electoral Council, arguing that organising elections amid so much violence is unrealistic.

In other important developments. UN 13 April presented $720mn annual aid plan for Haiti, largest since 2010 earthquake, amid dire humanitarian situation. Dominican Republic President Abidaner 16 April issued decree preventing entry of 39 Haitians linked to gangs. Meanwhile, several media outlets early April reported that leaked classified U.S. documents indicated Russian paramilitary Wagner Group late Feb planned to assess potential contract with govt to fight gangs; Washington Post 10 April reported that officials denied local authorities had met with Wagner representatives.

March 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Soaring gang violence killed hundreds and displaced 160,000 in capital Port-au-Prince, though international assistance remained limited.

Violent turf wars killed over 200 and displaced 160,000 people. Fighting between rival gangs affiliated with G9 and G-Pèp coalitions, which erupted 28 Feb in downtown neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince, grew fiercer throughout early March. NGO Doctors Without Borders 8 March announced temporary closure of their Cité Soleil centre due to “intolerable risks” wrought by gang violence, which kept spreading to new areas. UN humanitarian agency 21 March said clashes between gangs in first two weeks of March left at least 208 dead and 101 kidnapped and that, as of mid-March, at least 160,000 people have been displaced. PM Henry 17 March called on Haitian armed forces – which have played limited security support role – to fight gangs alongside Haitian National Police (HNP), arguing that special police units are no longer sufficient to tackle “national security problem”. Around 15 NGOs 27 March urged govt to declare state of emergency in areas most affected by violence.

UN reiterated appeal for multinational security mission. International partners remained reluctant to lead security mission, instead offering to help strengthen HNP. Notably, Canada’s Defence Minister Anita Anand 2 March announced arrival of Navy ships to patrol Haitian waters; Caribbean Community 6 March pledged support for police efforts to address insecurity. Head of UN mission to Haiti 15 March said assistance was insufficient and again appealed for deployment of international force to tackle violence, which UN human rights agency 21 March reiterated. Following meeting between U.S. President Biden and Canadian PM Trudeau, Canada 24 March pledged additional $100mn to assist HNP; Biden said foreign military force “is not off the table” but “is not in play at the moment”. European Union High Representative Josep Borrell 27 March expressed support for “international intervention”.

PM Henry advanced “21 December Accord” agenda. Despite continued opposition to 21 December Accord – political agreement between Henry and some members of opposition forces – Henry pressed ahead with agenda, 7 March installing eight judges to country’s highest court, who will select members of Electoral Council to organise elections. Meanwhile, head of recently inaugurated High Council for Transition, Mirlande Manigat, 7 March said council faced budget constraints.

February 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Security crisis compounded dire humanitarian situation, while international community continued to weigh sending specialised armed force.

Gang violence persisted at high levels, notably hampering medical care provision. Gunmen 4 Feb intercepted two buses in Liancourt commune, taking driver and 50 passengers hostage. Kraze Baryè gang same day kidnapped National Centre of Equipment Director Kineton Louis in Pétionville commune. Kokorat San Ras gang 22 Feb invaded Estère commune, forcing police out of area temporarily. Gang activities restricted provision of medical care. Notably, Gheskio medical centre 9 Feb suspended activities amid kidnapping of several staff members in capital Port-au-Prince. Albert Schweitzer hospital in Deschapelles town 15 Feb suspended operations after police officers, angered by scarce resources for tackling violence, abandoned nearby stations, enabling expanded gang activities in area. Médecins Sans Frontières 24 Feb said violence and threats “are jeopardising the safety of staff and patients… [and] threaten the continuity of our activities”. Meanwhile, police spokesman Garry Desrosiers 15 Feb announced Operation Tornado had led to 369 arrests and 16 deaths of alleged gang members since 27 Jan; National Network for Defence of Human Rights Director Pierre Espérance next day said operation had achieved little.

“21 December Accord” between PM Henry and some opposition forces advanced. Official inauguration of Transitional High Council, charged with assisting PM Henry in 2023 election preparations as per 21 December agreement, 6 Feb took place. Yet internal opposition to agreement, including among members of civil society and political groups, persisted.

Discussions to send multinational security mission yielded few results. UN human rights chief Volker Türk 10 Feb urged international community to consider deploying specialised armed force to country, as did Organization of American States. Foreign partners remained hesitant, however, particularly in absence of broad political consensus within Haiti. Notably, Canada’s Ambassador to UN Bob Rae 16 Feb stressed that Canada “believe[s] very strongly that Haitian institutions themselves have to play the leadership role”. Still, Canada stepped up intelligence activities: Canadian patrol aircraft 4-7 Feb conducted intelligence-gathering flights, while Canadian PM Justin Trudeau 16 Feb said Canada will deploy two vessels to Haitian waters, especially around Port-au-Prince, for surveillance purposes.

January 2023

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Police officers demonstrated against targeted attacks on national police, and authorities unveiled details of new political accord amid calls for continued dialogue.

Police officers mutinied amid repeated gang attacks on their officers. Gangs 10-25 Jan carried out over five attacks on national police in different cities, leaving at least 14 officers dead, two wounded and two missing. Notably, Grand Grif gang members 25 Jan killed six policemen in Liancourt commune. Armed police next day launched violent demonstrations in several cities, notably capital Port-au-Prince, where they attacked interim PM Henry’s residence and airport. Meanwhile, month saw overall increase in kidnappings in capital. Notably, unknown assailants 18 Jan kidnapped 29 bus passengers in Croix-des-Bouquets, outskirts of Port-au-Prince.

Authorities published details of new political accord. Authorities 11 Jan made public text of “21 December accord” between Henry and some members of opposition forces. Document called for creation of High Council of Transition, established 17 Jan, and Body of Oversight of Government Action to sit alongside Henry during transitional period until Feb 2024 when newly elected govt assumes power. Though document received support from some international actors, including European Union and UN, members of civil society platform Montana Accord continued to disregard it. U.S. Assistant Sec State Brian Nichols 5 Jan called for “broader consensus and greater flexibility among leaders from all sectors” to address political crisis. Meanwhile, institutional crisis 9 Jan peaked when terms of ten remaining senators ended, leaving Haiti with no elected officials.

Discussions on multinational security mission continued. PM Henry 1 Jan declared that request for national police support was not request for occupation or military intervention. UN Sec-Gen António Guterres 17 Jan reiterated “urgent need” for “international specialised armed force”. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau 10 Jan said Canada is working with U.S., Mexico and Caribbean partners to ensure “we will have options” if situation deteriorates, reiterating importance of Haitian-led solution to security crisis. Canadian Ambassador to UN Bob Rae 18 Jan said foreign military intervention would have little sustainable impact.

December 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Security and humanitarian crisis persisted, govt signed political agreement pledging elections in late 2023, and talks on international military intervention yielded no significant outcomes.

Dire security and humanitarian situation persisted. Gang violence continued unabated. Notably, at northern exit of capital Port-au-Prince, heavily armed bandits 26 Dec opened fire on highway in Bon Repos district, killing bus driver and injuring passengers before setting fire to two gas stations, supermarket and over a dozen vehicles. Violence continued to aggravate humanitarian crisis: UN Children’s Fund 16 Dec said gang’s blockades of ports and main roads continued to severely hamper transport of medical supplies. Meanwhile, cholera outbreak spread further, with 20,320 suspected cases and 377 registered deaths as of 29 Dec. Pan American Health Organization 12 Dec announced arrival of first shipment of 1.17mn doses of cholera vaccine; vaccinations began 18 Dec.

New political accord failed to win support of key political actors. PM Henry 21 Dec announced agreement with civil society groups, political parties and private sector to organise elections before end of 2023; accord establishes Henry’s premiership until 7 Feb 2024. By end of month, over 600 organisations had endorsed agreement. However, number of major political actors, including leaders of civil society platform Montana Accord, had yet to sign it by 31 Dec.

Discussions on international intervention continued. During Canada’s second fact-finding mission in Haiti 7-9 Dec, Canada’s Ambassador to UN Bob Rae met with high-level political figures, including Henry and members of Montana Accord, who continued to insist on Henry’s resignation. Although Montana Accord remains firmly opposed to military intervention, representatives 8 Dec told Rae that transitional govt would accept internationally backed “rapid police support” to help police subdue gangs. Rae 21 Dec said broad political consensus is precondition for security mission.

Foreign govts imposed further sanctions on Haitian political and economic elites. U.S. Treasury Department 2 Dec froze U.S. assets of two politicians for alleged drug trafficking and gang financing; U.S. State Department 9 Dec announced sanctions on former head of Haitian customs and Senator Rony Célestine. Canada 5 Dec sanctioned three of Haiti’s most powerful businessmen for financing gangs, 20 Dec sanctioned two former govt officials.

November 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Police regained control of oil terminal amid rising levels of gang violence, humanitarian crisis deepened, and international partners imposed sanctions on gang sponsors.

Police unblocked main oil terminal, but gang violence continued to spread. Govt 3 Nov announced National Police had regained control of Varreux oil terminal, blocked since 12 Sept by G9 gang coalition. Clashes between police and gangs however continued nearby for several days, preventing employees from returning to terminal until 7 Nov. Fuel 12 Nov reached petrol stations, but gangs’ control of key roads leading out of capital Port-au-Prince hindered supply to much of country. Meanwhile, violence continued at high levels. Notably, in Petite-Rivière de l’Artibonite commune – controlled by three allied gangs – unknown assailants 9 Nov killed 15 residents with machetes for their alleged complicity with gangs; suspected 400 Mawozo gang members 14 Nov attacked convoy of commercial vehicles, U.S. embassy vehicles and police in Croix-des-Bouquets commune.

Humanitarian crisis persisted. Gang violence continued to restrict flow of essential goods, intensifying humanitarian crisis. Notably, amid impact of fuel shortages on access to clean water and other basic services, ministry of health 27 Nov reported 1,003 confirmed cases of cholera, 11,889 suspected cases, and 223 deaths as of 26 Nov.

Foreign partners imposed new sanctions, continued discussions on military intervention. In bid to help authorities tackle rising insecurity, U.S. and Canada 4 Nov imposed sanctions on Senate President Joseph Lambert and former Senate President and leader of Ayiti An Aksyon political party Youri Latortue. Justice Minister Berto Dorcé and Interior Minsiter Liszt Quitel 11 Nov resigned, allegedly after their American visas were revoked. Canada 20 Nov announced sanctions against former President Michel Martelly and two former prime ministers, Laurent Lamothe and Jean-Henry Céant. Meanwhile, U.S. State Dept 8 Nov insisted on need for foreign troops to combat “long-term challenges”; Canadian PM Justin Trudeau 20 Nov said Canada is considering possible role in mission, but stressed need for “consensus across political parties in Haiti” before taking “more significant steps”. Ambassador to U.S. Bocchit Edmond 28 Nov reiterated need for “an international presence to help confront the gangs”.

October 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Political crisis deepened as anti-govt protests continued and gangs extended their control across major cities.

Gangs continued to extend their power, targeting security forces and economic assets. Members of “Vitelhomme” gang attacked security personnel during month, 1 Oct killing National Palace security officer, 18 Oct killing Croix-des-Bouquets chief police commissioner, both in Tabarre commune, eastern part of capital Port-au-Prince. Meanwhile, members of “5 Seconds” gang 8 Oct attacked country’s largest flour mill, and G9 gang alliance members continued to blockade Varreux oil terminal, disrupting fuel deliveries and exacerbating humanitarian crisis. PM Henry and 18 cabinet members 7 Oct formally asked international community for “specialised armed force” to unblock Varreux and secure fuel flow; group of senators 9 Oct demanded Henry defer “illegal” request. In special session held 17 Oct, UN Security Council discussed possible sanctions against gang leaders and their sponsors, unanimously approved 21 Oct; also proposed “non-UN international security assistance mission”, but as of 28 Oct resolution draft had not been shared with member states. Meanwhile, U.S. Sec State Blinken 12 Oct announced security assistance and visa restrictions targeting Haitian officials and others involved in gang activity.

Political crisis deepened amid ongoing anti-govt protests. Protests demanding Henry’s resignation continued, leaving unknown number dead amid security forces’ heavy-handed response. Pitit Dessalines party leader Moïse Jean Charles 17 Oct called on demonstrators to target govt officials’ homes and “buy machetes to lead the revolution”. Assistant U.S. Sec State Nichols 12 Oct flew to Port-au-Prince for separate meetings with Henry, civil society platform Montana Accord Monitoring Office and Fritz Jean – selected by Montana Accord to lead transitional govt but whose relations with platform have since deteriorated – to resolve political crisis. Nichols urged all three to reach agreement, but political paralysis persisted.

Fuel shortages continued to exacerbate humanitarian crisis. Amid impact of fuel shortages on access to clean water and other basic services, health ministry 2 Oct reported new cholera outbreak, with 2,200 suspected cases and at least 55 confirmed deaths as of 22 Oct.

September 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Protests demanding PM Ariel Henry’s resignation escalated and turned violent amid fuel price hike, forcing services to close; gangs exploited unrest and seized control of major oil terminal.

Anti-govt protests turned violent, forcing public and private services to close down. Protests that started late Aug demanding Henry’s resignation intensified: after govt 14 Sept announced drastic reduction of gasoline subsidies, which prompted sharp rise in prices, anti-govt demonstrations same day broke out and expanded across capital Port-au-Prince and other towns and cities, growing increasingly violent as protesters set fire to vehicles, blocked roads and burned barricades. Businesses, banks, transportation networks and other public services were forced to shut down, while many embassies, including Mexico’s and Dominican Republic’s, 14 Sept shut their borders. Police responded with force, with clashes (which involved gang members among protesters) leaving over ten civilians dead and many more injured. As leaders called for calm, businesses 21 Sept began opening their doors. However, protests and blockades 26 Sept resumed, again paralysing commercial and public activities across major cities. Civil society platform Montana Accord (who have proposed two-year transitional plan that includes five-member presidential college and new PM) 16 Sept said protests were legitimate and urged Haitians to continue taking to streets until formation of legitimate transitional govt.

Gangs exploited unrest, aggravating violence and blocking fuel supplies. G9 gang alliance, of which members 11 Sept murdered two journalists reporting on escalating gang violence in Cité Soleil district of Port-au-Prince, exacerbated unrest. Notably, G9 leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier was filmed 15 Sept leading protest and demanding Henry’s resignation. Meanwhile, G9 gang members 17 Sept dug trenches around Varreux oil terminal, blocking access to operators, employees and trucks and taking control of 188,000 barrels of fuel; petrol stations across country same day closed and had yet to reopen by end of month.

Fuel blockade further strained country’s public services, notably health sector. Caracol Industrial Park – which employs 13,000 workers – 25 Sept ceased operations due to lack of fuel, affecting electricity services. UN children agency UNICEF 26 Sept said fuel blockade was preventing deliveries needed to power hospitals and risked bringing country’s health services to “a standstill”.

August 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Civil society platform Montana Accord called off negotiations with PM Ariel Henry while protestors demanded his resignation, and EU called for end to gang violence as clashes reignited. Political negotiations suffered setback as Monitoring Office of so-called Montana Accord (who have proposed two-year transitional plan that includes five-member presidential college and prime minister) 2 Aug announced end to discussions with interim govt of PM Henry, accusing him of refusing to advance dialogue on rebuilding institutional capacity and organising free and fair elections. Meanwhile, thousands of protestors 22, 29 Aug took to streets across Haiti, demanding Henry’s resignation, whom they blame for widespread poverty and violence. Following violent escalation of security crisis in July that left hundreds dead, EU 1 Aug called for immediate end to gang violence and emergency care for victims. Gang alliances G9 and G-Pep 12 Aug clashed in Cité Soleil district of Port-au-Prince, killing 50. UN office in Haiti 10 Aug condemned prison conditions that have caused 97 deaths since beginning of year, including occupancy at over four times maximum capacity in country’s four main prisons; urged authorities to provide prison administration with financial, human and material supplies, and accelerate judicial proceedings. Organization of American States General Secretariat 8 Aug condemned international community for poor management of Haiti’s crises, saying “this failure has to do with 20 years of erratic political strategy by an international community that was not capable of facilitating the construction of a single institution with the capacity to address the problems facing Haitians”; called on foreign partners to embrace new approach with financial and technical support to strengthen dialogue process, curb violence and help restore democracy. Over 400 Haitians 6-8 Aug arrived at Florida coast on sailboats; U.S. authorities took majority into custody, 9 Aug repatriated 186. Dominican Republic authorities 9 Aug arrested 492 irregular Haitian migrants and immediately deported them.

July 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Fighting between rival gangs killed hundreds in capital Port-au-Prince, worsening already dire humanitarian situation; fuel shortages exacerbated by violence triggered protests. Security crisis in capital Port-au-Prince escalated as gunfights 7 July erupted between G-9 and G-pep gangs in Cité Soleil commune. UN 25 July said over 471 people were killed, injured or went missing 7-17 July as gangs battled for control of territory, and reported serious incidents of sexual violence against women and girls as well as recruitment of boys into gangs. Fighting exacerbated country’s grave humanitarian crisis. Notably, humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières 13 July reported that thousands of civilians were trapped in Brooklyn neighbourhood of Cité Soleil without adequate food, water or medical care, while UN 25 July said 3,000 people had been forced to flee their homes. Bahamian PM Philip Davis 24 July said 17 Haitian refugees had died and many more were still missing after boat capsized off coast of Bahamas. Violence 27 July flared once more between G-9 and G-Pep gangs in Port-au-Prince’s Bel Air neighbourhood, leaving city’s cathedral in flames. National Network for Defence of Human Rights Executive Director Pierre Espérance 11 July accused PM Henry’s govt of inaction, 18 July said gangs attacked “with the complicity of the government”. Turf war from 11 July paralysed Varreux oil terminal, exacerbating existing fuel shortage and triggering further unrest despite activities resuming 14 July. Motorcycle taxi drivers 13 July organised protests against fuel shortage, burning tire barricades to block intersections in downtown Port-au-Prince. Further protests 15 July erupted in Cap-Haitien city (north), paralysing commerce and public transport. Meanwhile, as of 27 July, gang members retained control of Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince – largest court in country – following seizure of building one month prior. Haitian National Association of Court Clerks president 11 July accused Henry of not “even [trying] to regain control”. Ahead of 15 July expiration of UN mission to Haiti (BINUH), local activists 14 July protested in front of BINUH office in Port-au-Prince, opposing mandate’s renewal due to perceived ineffectiveness. UN Security Council 15 July voted to extend BINUH mandate until 15 July 2023.

June 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Amid political stalemate, gang violence continued to run high, notably with group seizing control of country’s highest court. Negotiations between so-called Montana Accord (who have proposed two-year transitional plan that includes five-member presidential college and prime minister) and acting PM Ariel Henry had yet to start by end of month, as both parties during month fell short of agreeing on terms and agenda of discussions. Amid ongoing political impasse, hundreds of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s supporters 26 June marched to his residence in capital Port-au-Prince, calling for his return to power. Gang violence continued to disrupt security. Members of “5 Segonn” gang 10 June attacked Court of First Instance in Port-au-Prince, country’s highest court, in fourth such attack since May, storming and seizing control of building; gang 14 June reportedly set fire to court files and removed safes, furniture, computers and vehicles. Police had not been able to regain control of building by end of month. 400 Mawozo gang members 7 June released three of eight Turkish missionaries kidnapped 8 May during bus hijacking in Croix-des-Bouquets neighbourhood, Port-au-Prince; 15 June released five remaining hostages. Police 26 June arrested alleged “Baz Pilat” gang leader Ezekiel Alexander; supporters 27-28 June staged protests in Carrefour-Feuilles, Port-au-Prince, demanding his release. 1 June marked anniversary of gangs taking control of National Route 2 section in Martissant neighbourhood, Port-au-Prince. U.S.-based National Human Rights Defense Network 10 June reported armed individuals murdered 44 police officers between 17 June 2021 and 6 June 2022. UN Sec Gen António Guterres 16 June reported gang violence killed at least 782 Haitians and saw 540 kidnapped 1 Jan-31 May 2022. Haitian chancellor Jean Victor Généus same day affirmed police commitment to combatting gangs and called for international assistance toward operations, said “free democratic elections” were “not conceivable” in current environment.

May 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Gang violence continued to run high across Port-au-Prince, notably in Croix-des-Bouquets neighbourhood, while negotiations on political transition resumed. Turf war between gangs Chen Mechan and 400 Mawozo that began 24 April continued until 5 May. Acting PM Ariel Henry did not comment on armed clashes, sparking widespread outrage at ineffective police response. Also in Croix-des-Bouquets, 400 Mawozo 8 May hijacked bus, kidnapping 12 passengers including Dominican driver and eight Turkish missionaries; 400 Mawozo 14 May released driver, all other hostages remained in captivity as of 24 May. Armed bandits 30 May attacked bus in Port-au-Prince’s Martissant neighbourhood, killing one and injuring two passengers. Dominican Republic FM Roberto Álvarez 4 May announced release of Dominican diplomat Carlos Guillén Tatis, kidnapped 29 April by gang 400 Mawozo in Croix-des-Bouquets. UN 17 May reported at least 92 people unaffiliated with gangs and some 96 alleged gang members killed in Port-au-Prince 24 April-16 May. International humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders 22 May expressed concern over continued closure of its hospitals amid “unacceptable situation of insecurity”. Authorities 3 May extradited 400 Mawozo leader Germine Joly aka “Yonyon” to U.S., incarcerated since 2018; U.S. federal grand jury 10 May indicted Joly for role in armed kidnapping of 16 U.S. Christian missionaries in Haiti in Oct 2021. Following months of stalled negotiations between PM Henry and members of so-called Montana Accord (who have proposed two-year transitional plan that includes five-member presidential college and prime minister), Henry 11 and 15 May met with Montana Accord member and former culture minister to establish rules for engaging in formal negotiations. Henry made counter-proposal, which Montana Accord 21 May objected to because agenda did not include governance arrangements; 29 May sent new agenda including stipulations for “sufficient consensus” to enact constitutional changes and “transparent and credible structures” for holding elections. Meanwhile, Court of First Instance 30 May appointed Judge Walter Wesser Voltaire to oversee investigation into late President Moïse’s assassination.

April 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Stalemate over political transition continued, while ongoing gang violence triggered health centre closure. Amid ongoing political tensions, U.S. diplomat Barbara Feinstein 6 April met members of so-called Montana Accord (who have proposed two-year transitional plan that includes five-member presidential college and prime minister) in capital Port-au-Prince; members said govt mediation commission, appointed 31 March to seek agreement between PM Henry and Montana Accord members, was formed unilaterally, rendering it illegitimate. Representatives of two political organisations 11 April withdrew backing for PM Henry, held meeting with members of Montana Accord to seek agreement on proposed transitional govt. Gang violence persisted through month. International humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders 1 April temporarily suspended operations at emergency health centre in Port-au-Prince’s impoverished commune Cité Soleil due to violence. Authorities 5 April arrested prison director, police officer and court clerk for allegedly releasing imprisoned gang leader Ti Samy in exchange for bribes in northern coastal city of Fort-Liberté. Police 16 April killed two members of “5 Secondes” gang in firefight in Port-au-Prince’s Martissant neighbourhood; police next day arrested two more gang members. Gang 400 Mawozo 24-26 April clashed with rival gang Chen Mechan in turf war over six neighbourhoods in and around Croix-des-Missions, Port-au-Prince; Haitian Civil Protection Agency 27 April reported clashes left at least 20 civilians killed, with nearly two dozen wounded and thousands displaced. Meanwhile, former Colombian soldier Mario Antonio Palacios, extradited from Panama to U.S. in Jan, 4 April pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to kill or kidnap late President Moïse; mandate of Judge Merlan Belabre, who was overseeing investigation into Moïse’s assassination since 4 March, expired 25 April; no judge in Haiti overseeing investigation into Moïse’s assassination by month’s end.

March 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Political transitional arrangements remained precarious, gang-related violence persisted, and protesters denounced insecurity. U.S. Assistant Sec State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Anne Witowsky 7-9 March met interim PM Ariel Henry (who remained in office despite 7 Feb expiration of his term) and members of so-called Montana Accord (who have proposed two-year transitional plan that includes five-member presidential college and a prime minister); visit to country yielded no major progress. Haitian Senate President Joseph Lambert increasingly sought to reach agreement between key political actors: 10 March met with Montana Accord members and 14 March met with representatives of National Agreement Protocol (collective of political parties and civil society in alliance with Montana Accord since Jan); Henry declined three offers during month to meet with Lambert. Meanwhile, armed men in police uniforms 2 March kidnapped and later released two doctors; Haitian Medical Association 14-16 March held strike to protest gang violence. Protesters 9 March demonstrated in capital Port-au-Prince to denounce police brutality against journalists following 23 Feb police shooting of journalist Maxihen Lazzare. Gang members 14 March stole seven buses and robbed their passengers on gang-controlled main road in capital’s Martissant neighbourhood; in response, Haitian Drivers and Owners Association 17 March went on strike and along with more than 50 organisations called for demonstrations 29 March to protest insecurity. Civil society members 28 March petitioned Henry to protest “hostage-taking of the entire population”, outlining roadmap to address insecurity; Henry same day chaired meeting with Superior Council of National Police and petitioners. Demonstrators 29 March torched plane owned by U.S. missionary group at Les Cayes airport during protest against insecurity; Henry same day condemned incident as “subversive”. Protesters 29 March also set alight plane in Jacmel airport to denounce insecurity in Martissant. Dominican authorities 2 March deported former Haitian police officer Tanis Philome to Haiti over alleged link to assassination of President Moïse. Judge Merlan Belabre 4 March became fourth official to oversee investigation. Belabre 12 March accused govt and judiciary of inadequate security for himself and his family since taking on case.

February 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Interim PM Henry held on to power despite mandate expiration; political negotiations with civil society proposing transitional govt failed, fuelling political instability amid gang insecurity. Interim PM Henry 7 Feb rejected critics’ argument that his term had expired on 7 Feb (date when former President Moïse’s term would have ended) and stated elections were only solution to political impasse. Representatives from Montana Accord (who have proposed two-year transitional plan that includes five-member presidential college and a prime minister) 11 Feb met Henry behind closed doors; follow-up meeting due to be held 14 Feb however did not take place, Montana Accord Monitoring Office same day said negotiations would resume if several preconditions are in place including suspension of new Provisional Electoral Council and Henry’s collaboration in Moïse’s assassination investigation. Local media 4 Feb said Judge Chavannes Étienne now in charge of overseeing investigation, follows Judge Garry Orélien’s resignation in Jan. U.S.-based TV channel CNN 8 Feb revealed Orélien had said in Autumn 2021 recording that Henry is “connected” with mastermind of Moïse’s killing. FM Jean Victor Généus 10 Feb rejected allegations of Henry’s involvement in assassination; Étienne same day withdrew from case, citing concerns for his life. Meanwhile, gang violence continued. Notably, unknown assailants 4-6 Feb killed at least ten people and gangs kidnapped at least 20 others in capital Port-au-Prince and in Croix-des-Bouquets, including University rector and former Education Minister Gérard Dorcély, who was held in captivity for more than two weeks. Henry 14 Feb said he is committed to taking back control of Port-au-Prince’s Martissant neighbourhood including through clearing gang-controlled section of main road connecting capital to southern peninsula; police 21 Feb arrested five members of “400 Mawozo” gang. Amid rising inflation, factory workers primarily in the garment sector mid-month demonstrated to call for increased salaries; govt 21 Feb announced hikes in minimum wage; police 23 Feb reportedly opened fire on demonstrators in Port-au-Prince calling for higher minimum wage, leaving one journalist dead. Meanwhile, Dominican govt 20 Feb began building wall at its border with Haiti to stop irregular migration and smuggling.

January 2022

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Gang-related insecurity persisted, and U.S. detained several key suspects in President Moïse’s assassination; end of PM Henry’s mandate on 7 Feb could spark violence and further turmoil. Suspected gang attacks continued unabated. Notably, unidentified gunmen 1 Jan fired shots outside cathedral in Gonaives city hosting Haitian 218th independence anniversary celebrations attended by PM Henry in possible assassination attempt, killing civilian and wounding two; police 3 Jan cited attackers as “armed groups”. Suspected gang members 6 Jan opened fire on reporters in capital Port-au-Prince, killing two journalists. Armed attackers 13 Jan kidnapped Cuban doctor, demanding $100,000 ransom. Skeletal Senate (with ten out of 30 seats filled) 10 Jan reconvened for first time in a year; outgoing Senate President Joseph Lambert same day committed to leading sessions despite expiring term, affirming “2022 will be an election year”. Organisations supporting major civil society initiative known as “Montana Agreement”, created Aug 2021 with view to helping resolve political crisis, 14 Jan met for five days in Louisiana state (U.S.); 30 Jan announced plan for political transition helmed by Fritz Jean, well-known economist and former central bank governor, as interim president and Steven Benoit as interim PM. Rejecting political appointments, Lavalas, party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, 29 Jan withdrew from Montana Agreement. While investigation into July killing of President Moïse stalled in Haiti, neighbouring authorities detained key suspects. Notably, Colombian military officer Mario Palacios was captured 3 Jan in Panama as he tried to return to Colombia, and then extradited to Miami city (U.S.), where U.S. 4 Jan charged him with conspiracy to kill Moïse. Following U.S. request, Dominican authorities 7 Jan captured second key suspect Rodolphe Jarr and 20 Jan extradited him to Miami, while Jamaican authorities 15 Jan detained former opposition Senator and suspect John Joel Joseph. Meanwhile, U.S. govt and others inside and outside Haiti raised concerns throughout month that expiry of PM Henry’s mandate on 7 Feb (date when Moïse’s term would have ended) could bring violence and further instability.

December 2021

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Amid persistent food insecurity and gang violence, political transition remained fragile. Gang violence persisted as clashes between G9-affiliated Ti Bwa gang and Village de Dieu gang 1 Dec killed five civilians and wounded 12 in Martissant neighbourhood of capital Port-au-Prince. Also in Martissant, unidentified gunmen 24 Dec killed transport union coordinator Guy Polinice and two others, and 29 Dec shot at public buses, killing four and wounding four. Prisoners 31 Dec attempted escape at Croix-des-Bouquets prison, killing ten inmates and injuring four police officers. In small improvement, 400 Mawozo gang 5 Dec released three missionaries abducted 16 Oct, 16 Dec released all remaining hostages; police 9 Dec arrested gang leader Clerny Jonas alias “Ti Jonas”, operating in Jalousie, south of Port-au-Prince, 14 Dec arrested Cathel Jones, alleged leader of G9-linked gang Terre Noire, and 26 Dec arrested gang leader Johnny Charles alias “Gato”. PM Henry 7 Dec announced fuel price hike; protesters 10 Dec took to streets upon its entry into force. Education Minister Nesmy Manigat 23 Dec said insecurity directly impacting nearly 200 schools in Port-au-Prince. Monitoring Office of 30 Aug Montana Accord tasked to support transitional arrangement 12 Dec created National Transitional Council, comprising 52 members from civil society organisations, political parties and independent political groups, set to elect provisional president and PM. International news outlet New York Times same day reported President Moïse had been compiling list of political elites and businesspeople linked to Haitian drug trade in months prior to his July assassination. U.S. Rep Andy Levin 7 Dec called on U.S. to support civil society coalition Commission for a Haitian-led solution to the crisis. Following UN report which said nearly half of Haiti’s population undernourished in 2018-2020, UN humanitarian agency 6 Dec requested $373.5 mn in humanitarian aid for Haiti in 2022. In Cap-Haitien port city, north, a fuel tanker 14 Dec crashed and exploded, killing at least 90 civilians.

November 2021

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Gangs continued to assert power through violence and control over access to fuel. Grand Ravine gang and G9 gang coalition-affiliated Ti Bwa gang early Nov clashed for control of Martissant neighbourhood in capital Port-au-Prince; turf war reportedly left several killed including at least one civilian. UN Children’s Fund 2 Nov said at least seven schools in and around capital Port-au-Prince forced to pay gangs in exchange for security since early Sept. Police 8-9 Nov clashed with G9 members near Varreux fuel terminal in attempt to lift weeks-long blockade on fuel shipments. G9 leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier 12 Nov lifted blockade of Varreux fuel terminal for one week, warned blockade would resume if PM Ariel Henry did not resign in that period, but fuel deliveries still ongoing late-Nov. U.S. authorities 11 Nov arrested two Haitian nationals in Florida for allegedly supplying weapons to 400 Mawozo gang, which kidnapped 17 foreign missionaries in Oct; two abductees reportedly released mid-Nov. Amid increase in kidnappings for ransom late Nov, heavily armed individuals 23 Nov ambushed bus on road in Artibonite department in north, reportedly kidnapping 15 passengers; 400 Mawozo gang 26 Nov abducted four schoolchildren in Croix-des-Bouquets commune near Port-au-Prince. National Human Rights Defence Network early Nov denounced PM Ariel Henry’s late-Oct decision to appoint Frantz Elbe as new police chief due to poor human rights record including suspected role in disappearance of anti-govt activists in early 2000s. Following weeks of political impasse, Henry 24 Nov swore in new cabinet; major civil society initiative known as “Montana Agreement”, which was created in Aug with view to helping resolve political crisis, 30 Nov said it had identified four potential candidates for president and PM positions. Amid escalating security crisis, U.S. early Nov urged its nationals to leave country. Neighbouring Dominican Republic President Abinader 3 Nov said border security strengthened by over 3,500 men, with Interior Minister Jesús Vásquez 8 Nov describing Haiti as “main threat” for Santo Domingo.

October 2021

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Gang violence and kidnappings spiked in and around capital Port-au-Prince, sparking mass protests amid severe fuel shortages. Gangs blocked delivery of fuel across country, notably seizing at least five petrol tankers in Cité Soleil commune week of 4-9 Oct. Suspected members of 400 Mawozo gang 16 Oct abducted 17 Christian missionaries including 16 U.S. nationals and one Canadian on outskirts of Port-au-Prince; authorities few days later said gang was demanding $1mn ransom for each hostage, and Mawozo gang 21 Oct threatened to kill hostages. Several strikes and protests held throughout month to denounce escalating insecurity and fuel shortages. Notably, shops and schools in Port-au-Prince shuttered 18 Oct as part of nationwide strike. Haitian NGO Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights 20 Oct said gangs kidnapped at least 119 people across country in first half of Oct, marking significant surge as entire month of Sept recorded 117 kidnappings; also said 90% of kidnappings committed in capital region. As fuel shortages threatened operations of medical facilities, G9 gang coalition leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier 25 Oct said he would ensure access to fuel terminals if PM Ariel Henry resigned. Meanwhile, repatriations of thousands of Haitians notably from U.S. and Mexico continued early Oct despite four UN agencies’ warning late Sept that “dire” conditions in Haiti were “not conducive to forced returns”. Former first lady Martine Moïse 7 Oct filed complaint against Henry and other officials for alleged involvement in assassination of President Moïse in July. Head of ombudsman-like govt agency Office of Citizen Protection Renan Hédouville 6 Oct claimed Henry was “major obstacle” in assassination investigation, called on UN Special Investigation Commission “to support judge…in charge of the case”. UN Security Council 15 Oct extended mandate of Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), tasked to support political stability and governance, until July 2022.

September 2021

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Political crisis deepened as chief public prosecutor sought to charge PM Ariel Henry for potential role in President Moïse’s killing and authorities postponed elections indefinitely. Chief Public Prosecutor Bedford Claude 10 Sept asked Henry to testify in Moïse’s assassination case after fresh information revealed Henry had called key suspect Joseph Badio twice on day of killing. Ombudsman-like govt agency Office of Citizen Protection next day requested Henry’s resignation over possible links to assassination. Claude 14 Sept requested judge investigating Moïse’s murder to charge Henry with alleged involvement in case, asked migration authorities to prohibit Henry from leaving country. Henry later same day fired Claude alleging “serious administrative offence”, appointed Frantz Louis Juste as new chief prosecutor. Henry 15 Sept replaced Justice Minister Rockfeller Vincent with Interior Minister Liszt Quitel; Council of Ministers Sec Gen Renald Luberice same day resigned, stating he could not serve someone who “does not intend to cooperate with justice.” Independent Advisory Committee tasked with writing new constitution 8 Sept presented new draft constitution to Henry; Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) president same day said 108 political parties registered to participate in legislative elections set for Nov. Henry 27 Sept dismissed CEP, promised to form new, non-partisan CEP; next day postponed elections indefinitely, said he planned to hold constitutional referendum before Feb 2022 and presidential and legislative elections in following months. Gang violence continued, resulting in many gas stations in and around capital Port-au-Prince being closed 1-10 Sept; G9 gang alliance leader Jimmy Chérizier 9 Sept announced truce to allow flow of fuel. Henry and National Police chief Léon Charles 6 Sept pledged to counter spike in gang violence after attack previous day killed several people in Port-au-Prince. After U.S. administration 19 Sept began deporting Haitian migrants from Texas state to Port-au-Prince, U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote 22 Sept resigned in protest, citing “inhumane, counterproductive decision”.

August 2021

Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti

Concerns rose over judiciary’s ability to investigate President Moïse’s killing, and gang violence disrupted earthquake relief. Ombudsman-like govt agency Office of Citizen Protection 1 Aug warned Moïse’s assassination could go unpunished, said Haitian judicial system “is held hostage by certain sectors”. In letter to UN Sec-Gen Guterres, govt 3 Aug called for “international commission of inquiry” to probe president’s killing. Judicial clerk assigned to investigation, Ernst Lafortune, found dead 11 Aug, days after Magistrate Bernard Saint-Vil said some judicial officials had been pressured to revise names and other details in enquiry reports on Moïse’s death. National Association of Haitian Legal Clerks 12 Aug said Lafortune had “heated dispute” with judge overseeing case, who resigned next day. Lawyers representing owner of firm that hired former Colombian soldiers allegedly involved in Moïse’s assassination 6 Aug claimed plot sought to change govt, not kill Moïse; Dominican and Colombian news channels 18 Aug broadcast testimonies of detained Colombian suspects who said plan was to kill president. Meanwhile, electoral council 11 Aug postponed constitutional referendum and first round of legislative and presidential elections, originally scheduled for 26 Sept, to 7 Nov; second round due 23 Jan 2022. After 7.2 magnitude earthquake 14 Aug hit country’s south-western peninsula, leaving at least 2,200 dead, UN Children’s Fund representative in Haiti next day called for “humanitarian corridor” in gang-held areas to ensure aid can reach affected regions; in following days, gangs reportedly did not follow suit, instead hijacking aid trucks and ambulances; leader of G9 gang alliance Jimmy Cherizier 22 Aug said G9 would change course, now assist in relief efforts; news channel Al Jazeera 25 Aug reported aid was flowing through gang-controlled Martissant neighbourhood west of Port-au-Prince.