“We are a mob and we are abandoned,” he told The Washington Post on Thursday, his voice shaking as he heard gunshots in the background.
Dozens have died and thousands have been killed in days of violent clashes between warring gangs in Cité Soleil, the Haitian capital’s largest slum. being trapped without food and water exacerbates the situation growing insecurity and humanitarian crises in this beleaguered Caribbean nation.
The United Nations says at least 99 people have been killed and more than 130 injured since the latest round of violence last week.
The mayor of Cité Soleil, Jöel Janéus, said the gangs had burned most of the bodies, leaving many families with few answers about the whereabouts of their loved ones.
Janeus told The Post that Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s office and the interior ministry have been in contact with local officials but have done little to stop the bloodshed. He said that since the mayor’s office has no money, he spends his own money on food and water for the residents.
Janeus said he was hiding. “I get a lot of pressure and threats,” he said.
The massacre in Cité Soleil, home to more than 260,000 people in Port-au-Prince Bay, is part of an escalation of violence and kidnapping for ransom then by armed gangs amid worsening political instability still unsolved murder a year ago President Jovenel Moise.
The United Nations said this week that 1.5 million people in Port-au-Prince were “deprived of basic services and freedom of movement” as a result of gang violence. The UN Security Council voted on Friday to extend its political mission in Haiti for another year.
Violence broke out in Cité Soleil last week between coalitions of warring gangs: G-Pèp and G-9, a. A nine-team federation led by Jimmy Cherizier. The United States imposed sanctions against Cherizier, a former police officer nicknamed Barbecue. For allegedly leading armed groups in “coordinated, brutal attacks in the neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.”
In the shared video social media This week, Cherizier grabbed a long gun and announced that “the battle for the liberation of the country has begun against kidnappers and robbers.”
Haiti’s National Network for the Protection of Human Rights said more than a dozen people were missing in Cité Soleil and more than 120 homes were destroyed by arson or heavy machinery allegedly provided by the National Equipment Center to the G-9.
Kington Louis, director general of the National Equipment Center, said this Your post claims are false. He said that one of the loaders of the center was kidnapped by the killing gangs when he refused to comply with the demand of the driver.
Doctors Without Borders called on the gangs to spare civilians. Organization The isolated neighborhood of Cité Soleil, which residents have been unable to leave since July 8, said the need for food, water and medical aid is dire in Brooklyn.
“We encountered rotting or burned bodies on the only road to Brooklyn,” Mumuza Muhindo, the group’s head of mission in Haiti, said in a statement. “They could be people killed in clashes or trying to leave and get shot. This is a real battlefield.”
A fuel terminal near Cité Soleil temporarily halted supplies this week, exacerbating a nationwide fuel shortage and sparking protests that blocked major roads across the capital. Fuel supply was summarized on Thursday.
Janéus, the mayor, was personally affected by the spiraling insecurity. In November, armed robbers descended on his home in Croix-des-Bouquets, east of Port-au-Prince, a stronghold of the notorious 400 Mawozo gang, and kidnapped his wife.
Friends, family and residents of Cité Soleil rallied to help him collect the $40,000 ransom demanded by the gang. Janéus said he was in talks with Germine “Yonyon” Joly, the leader of 400 Mawozo, who runs the gang’s operations, by cell phone from Port-au-Prince prison.
Joly was transferred to the United States in May they face charges Alleged criminal conspiracy to violate US export laws by smuggling firearms into Haiti and conspiracy to commit hostage-taking The kidnapping of 17 missionaries last year with an Ohio-based charity in Port-au-Prince.
“My three children are now in the United States,” Janeus said, “but my wife is with me in Haiti. She has seen a psychologist, but she is still unstable after the robbery.”
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