UN Security Council to meet on spiraling Haiti crisis

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United Nations, United States, March 6 The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday on violence-wracked Haiti, where marauding gangs are threatening a bloody civil war unless absent Prime Minister Ariel Henry steps down.

                  The armed groups, which control swaths of the country, announced a coordinated effort to oust Henry on Thursday, with Port-au-Prince’s airport, prisons, police stations and other strategic targets coming under attack since.

                  Powerful gang leader Jimmy Cherizier warned Tuesday that the current chaos would lead into civil war and “genocide” unless the prime minister steps down.

                  “If Ariel Henry doesn’t resign, if the international community continues to support him, we’ll be heading straight for a civil war that will lead to genocide,” the UN-sanctioned Cherizier, told reporters in the capital.

                  In power since the 2021 assassination of president Jovenel Moise, Henry had been due to step down in February but instead agreed to a power-sharing deal with the opposition until new elections are held.

                  At least 15,000 people have already fled the worst-hit parts of Port-au-Prince, the United Nations has said, though UN teams on the ground have been unable to report any death tolls.

                  Amid the spike in violence, Henry has been unable to return home.

                  He had been in Kenya to push for the deployment of a UN-backed multinational police mission to help stabilize his country when the attempt to oust him began.

                  Gunfire has shut down some flights at Toussaint Louverture International Airport, and he was denied permission to land in neighboring Dominican Republic, according to Dominican media.

                  He briefly touched down in the US territory of Puerto Rico, a spokesperson for the island’s governor said Tuesday, although it was not clear how long he was staying there.