Prime Minister Is Threatened With Civil War by Haitian Gang Leader

( – Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry is essentially the last politician left in his country. Lawmakers’ terms are expired, the presidency is vacant, and the US is trying to convince the PM to hold elections. Right now, he’s having a hard time even getting back into his country.

On Tuesday, March 5, Henry landed in Puerto Rico after the Dominican Republic refused to allow him to land and closed its airspace to flights to and from Haiti. The two nations share an island, but the Dominican Republic is a much safer and more stable country. In Haiti, gang members have surrounded the airport in Port-au-Prince to prevent the prime minister from returning to his country.

The Dominican Republic’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying the US government and Henry asked for permission to land in the nation for an “indefinite layover.” A spokesperson for the government said it would be impossible. However, the nation expressed a “willingness to cooperate with the International Community without compromising national security” in its own country.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the head of Haiti’s most prominent gang, Jimmy “Barbeque” Chérizier, told Henry that if he doesn’t resign from office, the country will “be heading straight for a civil war that will lead to genocide.”

Haitian gangs have essentially taken over the country at this point. Over the course of a week, the country released thousands of inmates from prisons. They also stormed strategic locations in the capital, including its police stations, two airports, and a port.

Jean-Marc Biquet, the head of a mission group in Haiti, told the press that “nobody is in control” in Haiti. He said he’s worried the police will stop fighting the gang members and the country is going to devolve into even more chaos.

Before being locked out of his country, Henry was in Africa, resolving a dispute that would allow a multinational security force to deploy to Haiti. The US plans to fly the security force to Haiti as soon as it’s safe to land.

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