PM of Haiti PM leans on military to fight gang violence
March 23, 2023

The government of Haiti has declared a state of emergency and authorized the use of military force to combat the escalating violence and crime perpetrated by gangs across the country. The decision comes after several months of relentless attacks, kidnappings, and killings by armed groups, which have caused widespread fear and instability in the already impoverished nation.

The Haitian military could be asked to help the underfunded and understaffed police service in battling the persistent gang violence that has prompted a growing number of educational institutions and companies to close, according to Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s signal this week.

The government’s previous strategy for dealing with the gang situation was mostly based on discussion and diplomacy; thus, the decision to engage the military represents a substantial change from that strategy. The choice is a reflection of the growing discontent among Haitians with the government’s failure to stop the violence and the pervasive belief that gangs can act freely.

In recent times, there’s been a substantial deterioration in the condition throughout Haiti, with gangs taking over entire districts and engaging in violent conflicts with both police authorities and one another. The violence has made it more difficult to offer the people necessary goods and services, worsening an already grave humanitarian disaster.

The escalating situation in the country in Haiti had drawn worry from the international community, with the United States and Canada providing travel advice to its nationals. The UN has also demanded swift action to solve the problem, stating that failure to do so might result in further deterioration.

The government’s decision to declare a state of emergency and activate the military has been welcomed by some Haitians, who have been demanding stronger action to combat the gangs. However, others have expressed concern over the potential for abuse of power by the military and the risk of human rights violations.

The situation in Haiti remains tense, with the government’s emergency measures yet to have a significant impact on the ground. The coming days and weeks will be critical in determining whether the government’s decision to activate the military will succeed in restoring order and stability to the country.

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