Haiti PM condemns killing of police officers in gang ambush

by Admin
Haiti PM condemns killing of police officers in gang ambush

Haiti’s new prime minister on Monday condemned the gang killings of three police officers on patrol in a part of the capital controlled by gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier.

A group of armed men working under Cherizier ambushed a patrol vehicle from the police’s anti-gang unit in the Delmas 18 neighborhood Sunday and set it on fire, police in the Caribbean country said.

Two officers were killed at the site and two were evacuated by reinforcements; one of them later died at a hospital.

Prime Minister Garry Conille promised state aid for the victims’ families. Conille was sworn in this month and has yet to install his cabinet after taking power nearly three months after his predecessor, Ariel Henry, resigned.

“This barbaric act is a direct attack on security and on [the] stability of the nation,” Conille said in a video address. “I send heartfelt condolences to the family of these officers who are gone, along with their colleagues and friends.”

He spoke after being briefly hospitalized Saturday for what his office called “a slight illness.”

Police union SYNAPOHA, however, said words were not enough and demanded the victims’ bodies be returned.

Unverified videos on social media, apparently filmed by gang members, appear to show footage of the charred truck and captured firearms.

Gang leader Cherizier later shared a video on social media in which he said police officers had gone rogue and come “to kill people in lower Delmas.” He also challenged police to recover the seized firearms if they could.

Kenyan President William Ruto said Sunday that a long-awaited deployment of Kenyan police officers set to lead a U.N.-sanctioned international force to support Haitian police should arrive in one or two weeks, African news outlets reported.

It remains unclear when the rest of the force — with troops from Benin, Chad, Bangladesh and the Caribbean — will land. SYNAPOHA warned at the start of this year of a rapidly shrinking and under-resourced police body.

The international force was initially requested by Haiti’s former government in 2022 but has faced extended delays. Gangs have since increased their control over the capital, pushing hundreds of thousands from their homes and millions into hunger.

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