Published on: 01/28/2023 – 06:28 am Modified on: 01/28/2023 – 06:58 am
Haiti National Police Director-General Frantz Elbé urged police to calm down following protest movements by his agents in Port-au-Prince and certain regions of the country. In fact, they took to the streets of the Haitian capital to express their outrage at the killing of six of their colleagues in the Artibonite department, bringing the number of police officers killed to fourteen since the beginning of the year. At a press conference, the commander-in-chief of the national police took the opportunity to launch a new operation to thwart gunmen.
With our correspondent in Port-au-Prince, Marie Andre Belange
Dubbed “Tornado 1,” this operation aims to provide an adequate response to armed gangs. The police chief did not provide any further details.
Number 1 also announced measures to strengthen the police stations and the various units specialized in logistics and armaments. The police commander promised that measures would also be taken to protect the police officers.
►Also read: Six police officers killed by gangs, Haitian capital under high tension
Frantz Elbé says he recognizes his squad’s demands as legitimate, but urges them to avoid any form of deviation that could jeopardize the existence of the police institution. He therefore calls on the police to concentrate and direct their forces and energy in the fight against the bandits.
►Also read: In Haiti, “the police no longer have confidence in the authorities of the state”
Prime Minister’s call for dialogue
The director general of the national police has also announced measures to strengthen the police stations and the various units specialized in logistics and armaments. Measures will also be taken to protect the police, the commander-in-chief of the police promised.
Sparse streets, the Haitian capital lived a rather quiet day on Friday January 27, the day after police protest movements. Very few vehicles were seen on the streets of Port-au-Prince. Some banks kept their doors closed as trade slowed.
►Also listen: Enraged police officers try to break into the residence of the Haitian Prime Minister
Prime Minister Ariel Henry spoke on national television inviting the Director General of Police to speak to the police and give him a report within 24 hours. The head of the Haitian government has promised to convene a Supreme Council of National Police and a Council of Ministers this weekend to take action to prevent such acts from happening again.
Médecins Sans Frontières ceases its activities in Carrefour
In another sign of the country’s violent climate, the humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières has decided to close its activities at a hospital in Carrefour, west of the capital, after gunmen entered the hospital to kidnap and execute a patient undergoing treatment to let him near the facility. This decision was difficult for the organization to make, as it risks closing the hospital’s emergency department and limiting access to free care for the population. In fact, it’s a failure, says Benoît Vasseur, MSF mission coordinator in Haiti.
“A failure, since we failed to get our humanitarian principles respected by the various armed actors,” he laments from the microphone of Guilhem Delteil of RFI’s international service. And therefore a failure because we will leave behind an extremely destitute population with no access to free emergency medical care. »
Asked what MSF expects from the Haitian authorities or actors to allow activities to resume, Benoît Vasseur asks: “It’s a good question to think about. Note that this is not the first time such an accident has happened in the same structure. No less than six months ago we had the exact same incident. We had therefore spoken to all the armed actors, whoever they were, all of whom had pledged to respect the integrity of this hospital and all medical missions, but unfortunately that pledge was not honored. »