Gangs Control About 60% of Haiti’s Capital

Gangs Control About 60% of Haiti’s Capital
Gangs Control About 60% of Haiti’s Capital

Close to 60% of Haiti’s capital is dominated by gangs whose violence and sexual attacks have caused thousands to flee their homes, the UN humanitarian chief in the Caribbean nation said.

Ulrika Richardson said that has left nearly 20,000 people in the capital facing “catastrophic famine-like conditions” as a cholera outbreak spreads throughout Haiti, AP reported Thursday.

Richardson painted a grim picture of a country in a downward spiral, with half its population in urgent need of food assistance as the number of cholera deaths has risen to 283.

She said close to 12,000 people have been hospitalized with the disease since Oct. 2, and there are now a total of more than 14,000 suspected cholera cases in eight of the country’s 10 regions.

She said all but 1,000 of the 20,000 Haitians facing starvation are in the capital, Port-au-Prince, mainly in the Cite Soleil slum controlled by the gangs. Richardson said insecurity has led to “massive displacement,” especially in the capital, where 155,000 people have fled their homes.

She said at a news conference that the gangs are using “very terrifying levels of sexual violence as a weapon” to keep people under control, instill fear and punishment.

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