Fresh fights between gangs in Haiti’s capital and beyond have killed at least 187 people in less than two weeks and injured more than 150 others, the U.N. said Tuesday.
The current wave of violence reported between Feb. 27 and March 9 in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and in the central region of Artibonite also has displaced hundreds of people and caused farmers to leave fields as malnutrition deepens, officials said.
In addition, nearly 260 kidnappings have been reported since the start of the year, with people snatched from their homes or public locations, officials added.
Gangs have grown more powerful since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, and already control an estimated 60% of Port-au-Prince. They also have been clashing in the central towns of Petite Riviere de l’Artibonite, Verrettes, Estere, and Liancourt.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry this week suggested that he is attempting to activate Haiti’s military to aid an under-resourced and overworked police department to combat the continuous gang violence, which has prompted an increasing number of schools and businesses to shutter.