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Haitians demand new leaders find swift solutions to gang violence

People walk through a street market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti   -  
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Ramon Espinosa/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved


The people of Haiti have had enough.

Just days after a transitional presidential council was installed, formalising the resignation of former Prime Minister Ariel Henry, their list of demands is growing rapidly.

Haitians want security, food, and jobs — and they want them now.

“The first thing that the presidential council must do is look into the security problem. Insecurity has made this country unliveable. We are going crazy running everywhere and with nowhere to go,” says taxi driver Joseph Ferdinand.

Next on his list is the issue of hunger.

“People are living in misery. Misery is destroying the population,” he says pointing to a huge pile of garbage lying uncollected in the street.

His complaints are echoed by many people in the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

More than 2,500 people were killed or injured from January to March alone, and more than 90,000 have fled the capital, Port-au-Prince, so far this year amid relentless gang violence.

The United Nations says that there is a great fatigue, trauma, and a lot of fear among the people of Haiti.

In the streets of Port-au-Prince, people say without security, it is impossible to even think about resuming a normal life.

“It’s insecurity that brought us to where we are today. A country without security is a country where we cannot do anything,” says car mechanic Jean-Marc Daniel.

The nine-member council acknowledges the challenges it faces and says it will vote for the country’s next president on Tuesday.

How exactly it plans to tackle the daunting tasks is unclear and no strategy to quell gang violence has been publicly announced.

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