Haiti

A disastrous earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, leaving the country in deep distress. Reconstruction failed to address the systemic problems underlying its extreme socio-economic inequality and endemic political and gang violence. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 and a bout of natural disasters soon thereafter, Haiti’s humanitarian plight has gone from bad to worse. Crisis Group aims to shed light on the sources of Haiti’s strife and supports core reforms to the security sector and state that could pave the way for credible elections, improved security and clean government.

Read this month's CrisisWatch Conflict in Focus entry on Haiti here.   

CrisisWatch Haiti

Deteriorated Situation

Gangs launched coordinated attacks across Port-au-Prince, targeting critical sites, freeing over 4,700 inmates and forcing thousands to flee; outside pressure yielded agreement to form new govt.

Chaos erupted in capital as rival gang coalitions launched coordinated attacks. Gang violence dramatically escalated after G9 and Gpèp rival gang coalitions late Feb joined forces and launched coordinated offensive in capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. Gangs throughout March targeted critical sites, including police stations, ports, airport and govt buildings; 18 March attacked several upscale neighbourhoods in Pétionville commune, killing at least fifteen. In response, mobs 20 March killed at least two suspected gang members in Pétionville commune. Police 26 March reported deaths of seventeen suspected gang members, including leader of Delmas 95 gang, since 29 Feb. Violence displaced thousands and forced tens of thousands more to flee Port-au-Prince amid ever-worsening humanitarian crisis. 

Plan to form transitional council moved forward after initial difficulties. Several political parties 5 March agreed to create transitional govt led by rebel leader and ex-convict Guy Philippe, who has ties to gangs. Outside partners subsequently stepped up efforts to form more representative govt as foreign support for Henry collapsed. Leaders from CARICOM (body of Caribbean nations) and other countries 11 March called emergency meeting in Jamaica, same day announced transitional government comprised of seven-member presidential council and two non-voting civil society representatives would be established; council tasked with appointing new PM, creating path toward elections and preparing for Kenya-led security mission. Henry that night announced he would resign after council is installed. Formation initially held up by disagreements, though council members 27 March issued first statement, announcing preparations for their installation and pledging to devise plan that can restore order. Meanwhile, G9 leader Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Chérizier 29 March said he would consider laying down weapons if gangs are included in peace talks.

Kenya halted plans to deploy security mission. Kenyan govt 12 March paused plans to deploy police in Haiti, citing changes to conditions on the ground. Kenyan President Ruto next day said Nairobi would resume preparations when presidential council is installed. Only $10.8mn has been deposited in UN-managed trust fund to cover mission, estimated to cost $600mn.

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In The News

30 Mac 2024
Countries should implement all necessary measures to curb the illegal arms to Haiti, including inspections at their own ports within their own borders. The Hill
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Diego Da Rin

Consultant, Latin America and Caribbean
5 Mac 2024
The situation [in Haiti] is an emergency … If the gangs continue with these large-scale attacks, they could control all of the capital in a matter of days or weeks. The Guardian
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Diego Da Rin

Consultant, Latin America and Caribbean
4 Mac 2024
The gangs are showing they can bring Haiti to its feet whenever they want. The Guardian
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Diego Da Rin

Consultant, Latin America and Caribbean
27 Jan 2024
Absent a robust external mission that would be deployed very soon, we are facing quite a tragic scenario in Haiti. AP
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Diego Da Rin

Consultant, Latin America and Caribbean
21 Sep 2023
[The police in Haiti] are completely outgunned by the gangs right now. The Guardian
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Diego Da Rin

Consultant, Latin America and Caribbean

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Diego Da Rin

Diego Da Rin

Consultant, Latin America and Caribbean

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