19 April 2024,   04:21
Haiti violence - state of emergency declared after mass jailbreak

The government of Haiti declared a 72-hour state of emergency on Sunday after armed gangs stormed a major Port-au-Prince prison, leading to the killing of at least 12 people and the escape of around 4,000 inmates, writes Reuters.

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

The groups aiming to oust him control around 80% of Port-au-Prince. Violent gang wars have killed thousands in the country since 2020. A government statement said two prisons - one in the capital and the other in nearby Croix des Bouquets - were stormed over the weekend.

It said the acts of “disobedience” were a threat to national security and said it was instituting an immediate night-time curfew in response, which started at 20:00 local time (1:00 GMT on Monday). 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.