Haiti's 'Urban Guerrilla' Conflict Leaving Thousands Of Women And Children Homeless
UNICEF reports gang violence in Port-au-Prince the past year has destroyed homes and made 14,000 Haitians refugees — mostly women and children.
Haiti in the past year has been rocked by a violent crime epidemic but UNICEF says the crisis is taking on a new and more destructive dimension — one that's turning thousands of women and children into refugees.
In a report out this week, UNICEF said thousands of Haitians have been forced from their homes in Port-au-Prince this year because of gang violence — most of them in just the past two weeks.
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The U.N. children’s agency said Haiti “is now facing an urban guerrilla” conflict in several Port-au-Prince districts. Battles between armed gangs in the past nine months have destroyed hundreds of homes and left 14,000 people as refugees — including 8,500 women and children this month alone.
It’s just the latest development in Haiti’s violent crime emergency, which includes a brutal ransom kidnapping wave. Many of the gangs are thought to have political affiliations. Some of the them support authoritarian Haitian President Jovenel Moïse — he has denied any ties to the gangs.
The worsening violence — as well as an economic collapse and a sudden surge of COVID-19 cases — raise questions about whether Haiti can hold presidential and parliamentary elections this fall.