More than 100 armed police officers staged violent demonstrations in Haiti’s capital on 26 January, protesting the killing of more than a dozen colleagues by armed gangs. The protesters blamed the government for not taking action and attacked the residence of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, later forcing their way into the country's main airport as the prime minister was returning from a trip to Argentina. The Haitian human rights organization, RNDDH, stated that 78 police officers had been killed since PM Henry came to power in July 2021, averaging five each month. As the country remains engulfed in gang violence and record-high levels of insecurity, the political crisis deepens. Haiti is now without a functioning parliament and no democratically elected officials after the terms of its last ten remaining senators expired on 10 January.
Haiti’s authorities regained control of the country’s main oil terminal and seaports, ending a two-month blockade. This was a result of negotiations between acting Prime Minster Ariel Henry's administration and gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier who had been holding the infrastructure hostage, triggering fuel shortages and restricting the flow of essential goods and services. Nevertheless, the humanitarian crisis continues in the country amid surging gang violence and targeted attacks against members of the media. Against this backdrop, the United States and Canada imposed a number of sanctions targeted at senior Haitian politicians linked to drug trafficking and financing gangs. The sanctions seek to tackle Haiti’s history of patronage between political parties and violent gangs.
The political and humanitarian crisis in Haiti deepens as anti-government protests continue, following intensified violence and unrest, gang blockades of the country’s main fuel source in Port-Au-Prince, and ensuing shortages of water, food, medical supplies, and hospitals without power. Haiti’s Health Ministry reported a new cholera outbreak on 2 October. This deterioration and exacerbated gang violence prompted PM Ariel Henry to call for a foreign armed intervention to stabilize the country. While the request has been considered by the United Nations and the Organization of American States, Haiti’s tense history of international interventions has left many doubtful of such missions, prompting protests. On 21 October, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution establishing a sanctions regime to target individuals and entities that target peace and stability. The unanimous resolution was welcomed by the Haitian representative.
The situation in Haiti continues to deteriorate sharply following last year’s assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Anti-government protests that broke out last August, demanding the resignation of Haiti’s caretaker prime minister, Ariel Henry, have intensified and turned violent. In response to the government’s decision to end fuel subsidies, which prompted a sharp rise in prices, public anger has increased.