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Cap-Haitien protesters call for prime minister Ariel Henry to resign

Demonstrators
Demonstrators march in Cap-Haitien June 30, 2022, to demand that Prime Minister Ariel Henry step down. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times.

The Haitian Times 
www.haitiantimes.com 
By Oldjy Francois

CAP-HAITIEN — Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the increasing insecurity situation, poor governance and the blackout in Haiti’s Northern Department. Protesters also call for Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign arguing his inability to bring stability to Haiti. 

“Insecurity is being organized by the government and it clearly shows that they do not have the will to end this insecurity, ” said Jacob Dol, a representative of Haiti in Action in the Northern Department.

The demonstration was organized June 30 by members of Cap-Haitien Fanmi Lavalas party and Haiti’s Action Political Party group (AAA) and members of the group in favor of a political power transition referred to in French as National Protocol agreement, PEN.

This demonstration follows other protests and strikes recently held by different political groups in the civil society calling to end insecurity amid a spike in gang-related kidnappings and complaints about Prime Minister Henry’s inability to confront gangs. Kidnappings have increased over the past year despite Henry and other members of his government pledging to crack it down.

During the period of April and  June, the Human Rights Analysis and Research Center (CARDH) listed 326 cases of kidnapping in the country. Kidnapping cases have shown an increase of 44.8 % compared to the first quarter of 2022, for which 225 cases had been identified according to CARDH.

Dol said that Cap-Haitien demonstrators are also concerned that  almost one year after the assassination of former President Jovenel Moise the country is going through a daily decline. He says the population is fed up and has no option than taking to the streets.

Demonstrators also protest the lack of electricity that has gotten worse in the last seven months. They said the government does not respect their basic human rights and is unable to offer them a minimum standard of living.

Protesters said they called for Henry’s resignation following too much international interference in the country’s internal affairs. They call for the government to act quickly to solve the problems  because they cannot continue to live like that.

“We are living in an inhumane situation in the country wherever you are,” said Bendjy Thilias, a member of AAA  in Port -au -Prince. “ If you have family members studying, working or living in Port -au-Prince today, you expect them to be the next victim. Insecurity and kidnapping will decapitalize a group of families and the government is not taking any actions.” 

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