More than 53,000 people have fled gang violence in Port-au-Prince

They fled the violence and poverty that plague Port-au-Prince. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 53,000 Haitians left the capital between March 8 and 27 to escape the terror of gangs. “In addition to creating displacement within the Metropolitan Area of ​​Port-au-Prince (ZMPP), attacks and generalized insecurity are pushing more and more people to leave the capital to find refuge in the provinces, taking the risks of passing through routes controlled by gangs,” notes the IOM in a study.

More than 60% of these internal exiles have found refuge in the departments of the Great South of the country, a region which already hosts “more than 116,000 people who had largely fled the ZMPP during the past months”, underlines the IOM. The study also specifies that eight out of ten people have left because of gang violence and almost six out of ten indicate that they will stay outside the ZMPP “as long as necessary”.

Still no transition council formed

More surprisingly, while the authorities of neighboring countries fear a wave of refugees, 96% of those questioned say they want to stay in Haiti, only 3% want to leave for the neighboring Dominican Republic and less than 1% to the United States and Brazil.

After a wave of violence triggered by powerful gangs, Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his resignation on March 11 to make way for a so-called transitional council. But three weeks later, the council has still not been formed due to disagreements between political parties and other stakeholders, and doubts about the very legality of such a body.

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