Berliner Tageblatt - 95,000 people fled Haitian capital in a month: UN

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95,000 people fled Haitian capital in a month: UN
95,000 people fled Haitian capital in a month: UN / Photo: © AFP/File

95,000 people fled Haitian capital in a month: UN

About 95,000 people have fled rampant gang violence in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince since early March, the United Nations said Friday.

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Insecurity is "pushing more and more people to leave the capital to find refuge in provinces, taking the risks of passing through gang-controlled routes," according to the UN's International Organization for Migration.

The agency is collecting data at high-traffic bus stations in the capital, and notes that its figures may not be complete as some people may not have passed through checkpoints or simply may not have been counted.

Haiti is grappling with a wave of violence by powerful gangs that intensified in late February as they sought to oust Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who announced last month he would step down to allow the formation of an interim government.

But delays in that process mean violence, food shortages and a lack of medicine are still blighting the impoverished Caribbean nation.

A majority (58 percent) of those leaving Port-au-Prince have headed towards Haiti's southern region, which already hosts more than 116,000 displaced people, most of whom have fled the capital region in recent months, the IOM said.

Nearly two-thirds of those people were already displaced before fleeing the capital, the IOM said.

"Provinces do not have sufficient infrastructures and host communities do not have sufficient resources that can enable them to cope with these massive displacement flows coming from the capital," the IOM warned in a statement.

Haiti has suffered grinding poverty, political instability and natural disasters for decades, including a 2010 earthquake that killed around 220,000 people, according to UN figures.

Now, it is awaiting the formation of a transitional governing council, which would pave the way for fresh elections and a new government.

But the body has yet to be officially formed due to repeated delays stemming from disagreements among political parties.

C.Kovalenko--BTB