Where will the current Haitian crisis end, marked by strong violence, while a group of opponents demands the immediate departure of the president, Jovenel Moïse? The country, one of the poorest in the world and plagued by overarmed gangs, is unfortunately used to this chronic instability. Explanations.
On Monday February 8, the situation worsened further in Haiti, a day after the President of the Caribbean country, Jovenel Moïse, denounced an attempted coup and arrested more than twenty opponents.
On the Champ de Mars of the capital, Port-au-Prince, where the presidential palace gives, “Violent confrontations took place in the early afternoon with opposition activists who threw stones at the police. The latter, police and military, responded by firing tear gas canisters at the demonstrators ”, reports the site Haïti Press Network.
Tensions have been high since a motley grouping of associations and political parties demanded the departure of the president, contesting the duration and therefore the date of the end of his mandate – February 7, 2021 for some, February 7, 2022 according to the presidency.
An army of 400 men
This coalition “appointed” the dean of the Court of Cassation, Joseph Mécène Jean-Louis, interim president. The country’s main daily, The Nouvelliste, relate :
Second day of paralysis of activities in Port-au-Prince and in some provincial towns this Monday, February 8. […] The police are on a war footing with a significant presence, especially in front of the Cour de Cassation building. ”
The Haitian army has given its support to President Jovenel Moïse but it has barely more than 400 men.
Most of the country’s security is provided by very poorly paid, often corrupt police officers who have to deal with over-armed gangs, living off kidnappings. An insecurity that exacerbates political instability: these gangs are sometimes even capable, depending on their interests, of making and defeating presidents.
According to Olga Regueira, a Spanish living in Haiti who worked thirteen years for various cooperation organizations, cited by The Country America, “In Haiti, instability has always existed, but there has never been so many weapons per capita. There are currently 76 armed gangs, neither political nor ideological, more powerful than the state. ”
Parliament no longer exists
Especially since the state now comes down more or less to a weakened president who has refused since the beginning of 2020 to call senatorial and legislative elections. Parliament therefore no longer exists. Jovenel Moïse governs by decree. And a Constitutional Council provided for by a reform of 2011 is still in limbo.
The Country America concludes: “Haiti is the Latin American country that has seen the most governments since 1986 [et la chute du dictateur Jean-Claude Duvalier], with around 20 heads of state. ”