Under Siege: Armed Conflict Threatens Haiti's Central Bank

Security forces in Haiti killed three men while repelling an armed attack on the Central Bank building in the capital, Port-au-Prince, reports Agence France-Presse

by Sededin Dedovic
Under Siege: Armed Conflict Threatens Haiti's Central Bank
© Firstpost / Youtube channel

The security forces in Haiti faced an armed attack on the Central Bank building in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, during which, according to the report by the French news agency AFP, three individuals lost their lives.

This incident highlights the deep instability and violence gripping Haiti, a country that has long been in the throes of a political crisis and social unrest. The Central Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH) remains one of the few institutions still operational in the business district of the city, albeit under constant threat from armed groups that have been exerting pressure on this quarter for the past three weeks.

The attack on the bank building, which occurred on Monday, demonstrates the audacity and aggression of these armed groups, but also underscores the bravery and determination of the bank's security personnel, police, and military in confronting violence and protecting vital institutions.

An employee who provided a statement to AFP described the conflict as fierce, with the bank's security managing to repel the attackers with the support of police and military forces. According to him, three or four attackers lost their lives in this confrontation, while one bank guard was injured.

The courageous response of the bank staff and relevant security forces deserves recognition and admiration, as they risked their lives to safeguard the security and integrity of the institution.

Increased violence in town© Good Morning America / Youtube channel

The Bank's management, through its online statement, expressed profound gratitude to the security personnel and police for their swift and effective response during the attack.

This situation clearly illustrates the severity of the challenges facing Haiti, as the country grapples with political instability, social unrest, and escalating violence. Since the end of February, a wave of violence and unrest has engulfed Haiti, exacerbated by demands for a change in leadership and the escalation of armed conflicts.

The mass release of prisoners from the largest prison facility has further destabilized the situation, as the country grapples with security and public order challenges. Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned under pressure from neighboring Caribbean countries and the United States, opening the door to the formation of a transitional government in an attempt to quell tension and political crisis.

UNICEF, the UN agency for children, has warned of a dire situation in Haiti, citing scenes reminiscent of post-apocalyptic movies like "Mad Max." The lack of food and basic necessities has become an increasingly pressing issue as shops are looted, and the distribution of humanitarian aid is hampered by violence and unrest.

This situation requires urgent and decisive international action to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and provide support to the people of Haiti.

Haiti big Crisis, Central Bank under Siege© Good Morning America / Youtube channel

Parts of Haiti are under curfew, while a state of emergency has been declared nationwide until April 3rd.

The United States and EU countries have evacuated their diplomatic staff from Haiti due to worsening security conditions and risks to their safety. Armed groups, referred to by the government as "criminals," control large parts of the country, including much of the capital, and are accused of numerous crimes such as murders, rapes, and kidnappings.

The leader of the armed struggle for power in Haiti is Jimmy Cherizier, a former police officer known as "Barbecue" due to his brutal treatment of opponents. In interviews, Cherizier often compares himself to historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Fidel Castro, highlighting his vision of revolution and change.

However, his methods are often violent and brutal, reminiscent of authoritarian regimes like that of Haitian dictator Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Analyses by organizations such as "InSight Crime" indicate that Cherizier's forces have acquired weapons, vehicles, and uniforms with the support of high-ranking government officials, further complicating the situation and pointing to deep-seated issues within Haiti's political system.

The blockade of fuel supplies from the largest terminal by Cherizier's forces has further exacerbated the economic crisis and humanitarian situation in the country, while fueling dissatisfaction and protests against the government.

Eruption of violence in the streets of Haiti © Good Morning America / Youtube channel

The Haitian police recently raided Cherizier's group headquarters, resulting in a confrontation and loss of lives among Cherizier's people.

This incident demonstrates the government's efforts to suppress armed groups and restore order and stability in the country but also highlights the deep polarization and violence permeating Haitian society. The situation in Haiti, besides being politically complex, is also deeply rooted in economic and social problems dating back decades.

This country, already known for poverty and economic challenges, faces additional issues due to political instability and violence. The lack of infrastructure, education, and healthcare further complicates the situation as millions of citizens struggle for basic necessities.

The international community is also involved in efforts to stabilize the situation in Haiti. UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies provide support to the population in the form of food, medicine, and basic necessities, but are often limited in their activities due to violence and lack of security.

The evacuation of US and EU diplomatic staff further underscores the seriousness of the situation and the danger to foreign nationals in Haiti.