Haiti’s gang chief warns of ‘Civil War’ over PM’s resignation

The chief instigator of unrest in Haiti’s capital has issued a dire warning of potential “civil war” should the nation’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, fail to relinquish his post.

Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier, the threat’s issuer, alongside his gang members, attempted to take over the city’s airport to block Henry’s return from an overseas trip.

The dire state of affairs has been declared “beyond untenable” by Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as a result of the violence, prompting thousands to flee their homes.

Reports indicate around 15,000 individuals, including numerous young children, have been uprooted due to recent violence.

Türk highlighted the grave statistics of violence from the year’s start: 1,193 fatalities and 692 injuries caused by gang conflicts, calling for urgent international intervention to avert Haiti’s further descent into chaos.

Amid these tensions, the Miami Herald has reported U.S. State Department’s efforts urging Prime Minister Henry to step down, with U.S. officials communicating this stance while Henry was mid-flight back to Haiti.

After being untraceable for days, Henry was reported to have boarded a charter flight from New Jersey late Tuesday.

Upon his intended return to Haiti, Henry faced an unexpected detour to Puerto Rico due to attempts by gangs to seize control of Port-au-Prince airport and denial of entry by the Dominican Republic, now seeking alternative entry points to Haiti amidst growing calls for his resignation and the establishment of a transitional government.

In the midst of escalating tensions, Chérizier’s Tuesday warning emphasizes the severe risk of civil conflict and potential genocide if Henry remains in office, underscoring the critical state of Haiti’s political and social landscape.–Web Desk