Twenty dead as thousands flee Haiti gangs – Port Macquarie News

Criminal violence in Haiti has worsened this week, with fighting among gangs in part of the capital chasing thousands of people from their homes and killing at least 20, including children.
Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency said the fighting began on Sunday in four neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince, north of the international airport.
At least a dozen homes were burned downand many of those who fled initially took shelter in the yard of a local mayor’s office.
The eruption comes amid a spike in violence and kidnappings as gangs grow more powerful and seek to control more territory amid the power vacuum following the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
The situation has angered and frustrated Haitians, who are demanding action from Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s administration, which is receiving international help to boost an underfunded and understaffed police force.
A family of eight, including six children, was among those killed since Sunday, authorities said on Wednesday.
Schools and businesses in the area remain closed as thousands of families with children are camping in a park near a local mayor’s office.
Authorities said along with the dead, two dozen people had been injured in the violence, and that one bullet hit an empty United Nations Humanitarian Air Service helicopter stationed near the airport.
The Civil Protection Agency blamed this week’s violence on a fight between the Chen Mechan gang and the rival 400 Mawozo gang. which was involved in the kidnapping of 17 US missionaries last year.
Haiti’s ombudsman-like Citizen Protection Office released a statement condemning the violence. It criticised political leaders, saying their inaction and silence has brought “a form of cynicism or contempt for human rights, particular the right to life and security”.
The office also questioned whether the area known as Plaine du Cul de Sac was becoming another Martissant and called on authorities to assume their responsibility to protect citizens.
Australian Associated Press
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