#HAITI Security: Anti-government groups call for rolling nationwide protests in Haiti Aug. 14-23. Clashes probable, especially in Port-au-Prince.

 

  • Worldcue® Alert
    Severity: Warning Alert
    Security: Anti-government groups call for rolling nationwide protests in Haiti Aug. 14-23. Clashes probable, especially in Port-au-Prince.
    This alert affects Haiti
    This alert began 13 Aug 2019 00:01 GMT and is scheduled to expire 24 Aug 2019 04:00 GMT.
    • Event: Protests
    • Location: Nationwide, especially Port-au-Prince (map)
    • Time Frame: Aug. 14-23
    • Impact: Increased security, business and traffic disruptions; probable clashes
    Summary
    Various opposition groups, including the Platfom Pitit Desalin political party and the Secteur Democratique et Populaire and PetroCaribe Challenge activist groups, are planning to launch nationwide protests in Haiti Aug. 14, to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. Pitit Desalin’s leader, Moise Jean Charles, has called on his supporters to continue the protests through Aug. 23.

The exact details of the times and locations of the protests have not been announced, though it is common for protests to materialize spontaneously in Haiti. The most disruptive and potentially violent protests are likely to take place in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Common flashpoints for protests include Rue Champs de Mars, Palais National, and Parliament, as well as Delmas and Petionville. Large protests are also possible in Cap-Hatien, Gonaives, Hinche, Jacmel, Jeremie, Les Cayes, Petit-Goave, and Saint-Marc.

Authorities will almost certainly maintain a heavy police presence near any large protests that materialize. Violence is possible; police in Haiti often make use of tear gas to disperse protests. Demonstrators commonly block major roads throughout the country, including routes leading to Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP). Protesters could burn vehicles and vandalized private businesses, as they have done in the past. Large-scale protests are likely to cause significant disruptions to commercial operations and transport, especially in the capital.

Background and Analysis
Protesters are demanding the president’s resignation amid high inflation and unemployment, increased insecurity, and alleged government corruption, especially relating to the Petrobras scandal and President Moise’s alleged involvement in an Agritrans embezzlement scheme. Moise, however, refuses to resign. The president announced a new prime minister, Fritz-William Michel, July 22, following the resignation of Jean Michel Lapin. Michel is the fourth prime minister to be announced during the Moise’s term. Opposition groups remain adamant that changes in the government will not improve the political situation in Haiti unless Moise resigns.

Advice
Avoid all protests due to potential violence; shelter in place if unrest occurs nearby. Monitor local media for information regarding protest activity and road closures, especially in Port-au-Prince, as demonstrations may occur with little-to-no warning. Do not attempt to pass through roadblocks; wait for authorities to remove them. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.

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