Americas

Haiti: Protests continue as violence intensifies

1 killed, several wounded as government forced to cancel carnival celebrations as ongoing violence sees no let up

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 27.02.2020
Haiti: Protests continue as violence intensifies FILE PHOTO

ANKARA

Anti-government protests continue to rock the Caribbean nation of Haiti for more than a year, with violence taking a deadly toll. 

Gunfire interrupted on the first day of Haiti's biggest carnival in the capital of Port-au-Prince last weekend, leaving at least one person dead and several wounded.

Carnival celebrations were canceled Sunday by the government "in order to avoid a planned bloodshed," according to a statement released by the Communication Ministry.

The UN and the 35-member Organization of American States (OAS) regional bloc condemned increase violence and voiced concern for Haitians.

"We condemn the violence in Haiti and express our condolences to the families of the victims. We advocate for the solutions the country needs: end of violence, violence is not acceptable in any form, and above all, it is not acceptable with the intention of a violent change in the established democratic regime; political dialogue; stability; formation of a government and parliamentary elections as soon as technically possible," OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro tweeted Monday.

The UN also expressed concern about the police and military and condemned the use of violence by those branches.

It called on "all sectors of national life, in particular the police who demand better working conditions, to avoid any situation which could cause tensions to escalate and jeopardize the security of citizens."

The UN and OAS have supported negotiations in recent months to forge consensus on a political agreement, but talks failed to yield progress on the formation of a new government.

Protests began in July 2018 in response to increased fuel prices, however, it evolved into demands for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise with a new wave of protests in February 2019.

Protesters demand the creation of a transitional government to provide social programs and prosecute allegedly corrupt officials.

They accuse senior government officials, including Moise, of misusing as much as $38 billion in loans from the Petrocaribe -- an oil alliance between Caribbean member states and Venezuela.


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