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Haitians demand the resignation and arrest of the national police chief

Photo: Ramon Espinosa Associated Press People set fire to an abandoned body covered in branches and tires in a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, May 11, 2024.

Danica Coto – Associated Press in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Posted at 6:01 p.m.

  • Americas

A growing number of civilians and police officers are calling for the dismissal and arrest of the head of Haiti's national police following another violent attack by armed gangs in the capital of the country.

The attackers reportedly seized another police station on Saturday morning.

Armed men attacked the town of Gressier, in the suburbs of Port-au-Prince, on Friday evening. They injured residents, burned vehicles and looted homes. Many residents fled to nearby hills following a barrage of gunfire overnight.

The death toll is unknown.

The attack came about a month after armed gangs attacked the center of Port-au-Prince, causing more than 3,700 people to flee.

“The situation is critical and catastrophic,” police union spokesperson Garry Jean-Baptiste told the Associated Press.

He described the director of the Haitian National Police, Frantz Elbé, as incapable and incompetent. “Mr Elbé has failed. »

Mr. Jean-Baptiste said the union wanted the new transitional presidential council to ask Elbé to resign and order a formal investigation into the ongoing crisis.

“The police continue to lose premises, equipment and officers,” he said. He also reported that at least 30 police stations had been attacked and burned in recent months.

He also accused Mr. Elbé and other officers superiors for being accomplices of the gangs.

Mr. Elbé did not respond to an interview request.

The commune of Gressier is located in an area controlled by Renel Destina, also known by the nickname “Ti Lapli.” He is the leader of the Grand Ravine gang. He would be one of the main allies of Izo, another powerful gang leader, according to the UN.

The Destina gang has around 300 members. He is accused of assassinations, kidnappings, rapes and other crimes.

A veteran of the political scene, André Michel, wrote on the X platform that the recent attack on Gressier demonstrates that “Haiti will not be able to free itself from gangs without an international force”. p>The arrival of Kenyan police officers is constantly delayed, but the officers could arrive at the end of the month.

Several US military planes have landed at the airport of Port-au-Prince in recent weeks. They were transporting basic necessities, construction materials and heavy equipment in preparation for the arrival of an international mission. Civilian contractors were also on board.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116