Haiti declares state of emergency after mass jailbreak

Haiti has declared a 72-hour state of emergency and night curfew in and around the capital because of two jailbreaks and spiraling insecurity, the BBC reports.

At the weekend, armed gangs stormed a major Port-au-Prince prison, leading to the killing of at least 12 people and release of around 4,000 inmates.

Gang leaders say they want to force the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is outside the country.

The groups aiming to oust him control around 80% of Port-au-Prince.

A government statement said two prisons – one in the capital and the other in nearby Croix des Bouquets – were stormed over the weekend.

Among those detained in Port-au-Prince were gang members charged in connection with the 2021 killing of President Jovenel Moïse.

The latest upsurge in violence began on Thursday, when the prime minister travelled to Nairobi to discuss sending a Kenyan-led multinational security force to Haiti.

Gang leader Jimmy Chérizier (nicknamed “Barbecue”) declared a co-ordinated attack to remove him.

“All of us, the armed groups in the provincial towns and the armed groups in the capital, are united,” said the former police officer, who is thought to be behind several massacres in Port-au-Prince.

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