Police have evacuated a hospital in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, in response to escalating gang violence in the vicinity.
Amid escalating gang violence near the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, local police have evacuated a hospital, the Fontaine Hospital Center. Director Jose Ulysse revealed that over 100 patients, nearly half of them children were relocated from the facility situated in the Cite Soleil shantytown. Recent unrest in the area followed the death of a gang leader, contributing to the ongoing lawlessness gripping Haiti.
Contrary to initial reports of gangs entering and holding people hostage in the hospital, Mr. Ulysse clarified that the conflict was centered around the medical facility. Houses in the vicinity were set ablaze, forcing some individuals to escape independently, while others, including a woman who had undergone a Caesarean section a day earlier, required assistance from local authorities.
“We were able to get everyone to safety,” assured Mr. Ulysse, emphasizing the critical role played by authorities in responding to the crisis.
According to a source in Port-au-Prince, the situation at the hospital rapidly intensified, coinciding with the killing of influential gang leader Iskar Andrice in Cite Soleil the previous day. This development has raised concerns about a potential surge in violence in the area.
Since the assassination of Haiti’s president in 2021, Port-au-Prince has witnessed an increasing dominance of gangs, leading to a political crisis and widespread displacement. Over 2,400 people have lost their lives, and thousands have fled their homes in the capital, as per the latest UN figures.
In an effort to restore order, Kenya has pledged to dispatch 1,000 police officers to Haiti, a move endorsed by the United Nations. The international community remains watchful as Haiti grapples with the complex challenges of violence and political instability.