Protests have been taking place in Haiti since February 2019 amid allegations of government corruption. President Moise broadcast a speech amid persistent anti-government sentiment and a spike in widespread protests over the country's worsening fuel shortages, which took off at the end of August. The president survived an impeachment vote in Parliament Aug. 22, but he remains extremely unpopular across civil society and opposition groups, especially since he was implicated in an embezzlement scheme. WorldAware is monitoring the ongoing situation in Haiti. View all prior alerts

 

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Oct. 2 | Warning AlertAnti-government activists to protest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, to demand President Jovenel Moise's resignation. Clashes possible.

Sept. 29 | Warning AlertNationwide fuel protests likely to persist in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, through October.

Sept. 27 | Warning AlertViolent nationwide protests in Haiti, Sept. 27. Roadblocks, clashes taking place, especially in and around Port-au-Prince.


Oct. 2 | Warning Alert
Anti-government activists to protest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, to demand President Jovenel Moise's resignation. Clashes possible.

 

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This alert began 03 Oct 2019 12:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Anti-government protest
  • Location: Port-au-Prince 
  • Date: Oct. 4
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; heightened security; possible clashes

 

Summary

Activists from several opposition organizations and political parties plan to protest in Port-au-Prince, Oct. 4, to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. Demonstrators will rally outside the office of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti near Toussant Loverture International Airport (PAP). Organizers have not announce the event's specific start time; however, it will likely begin early in the morning.

The protest will probably draw thousands of participants. Authorities will almost certainly deploy increased security near the protest venue and around the airport, as well as government buildings and the offices of international organizations elsewhere in the Haitian capital. Haitian police have a history of resorting to the use of force to disperse demonstrations; hence, clashes between protesters and police are likely. Transport and business disruptions, including air travel disruptions at PAP, are likely.


 

Background and Analysis

This latest protest follows weeks of demonstrations throughout Haiti, but especially in Port-au-Prince, demanding the government's resignation. The situation returned to relative normalcy Oct. 2 after days of severe transport and business disruptions. Opposition leaders called for the Oct. 4 protest as a way of keeping pressure on President Moise. At least four people were killed during protests in late September.

 

Advice

Avoid all protests. Confirm flights if booked to travel via PAP on Oct. 4. Plan for delays and allow additional time for ground transport in Port-au-Prince. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately, and seek shelter in a secure location.


Sept. 29 | Warning Alert
Nationwide fuel protests likely to persist in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, through October.

 

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This alert began 29 Sep 2019 15:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Protests
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Port-au-Prince 
  • Time Frame: Through October
  • Impact: Increased security, business and traffic disruptions; probable clashes and looting

 

 

Summary

Protests over Haiti's severe fuel shortages are likely to persist through October. Demonstrations have expanded recently into a broader condemnation of President Jovenel Moise after he refused to resign, in a televised speech broadcast the early morning hours of Sept. 25. The capital is likely to remain the focal point for fuel-related protests, though violent protests are highly likely in other urban centers, especially Cap-Haitien, Fort-Liberte, Gonaives, Jacmel, Les Cayes, Miragoane, Petit Goave, and Saint-Marc. Recent protests in the capital have been widespread; nonetheless, common flashpoints for protests in Port-au-Prince include Rue Champs de Mars, Palais National, and Parliament, as well as Delmas and Petionville.

Authorities will almost certainly maintain a heavy police presence near any large protests that materialize. Violence is possible; police in Haiti often make use of tear gas to disperse protests; security forces have reportedly also made use of live ammunition during the September protests. Demonstrators commonly block major roads throughout the country, including the National Route 1 and National Route 2, as well as roads leading to Port-au-Prince's Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP). Protesters could burn vehicles, vandalize or set fire to private businesses, and loot stores, including in upscale areas in Delmas and Petionville, Port-au-Prince. Large-scale protests are likely to cause significant disruptions to commercial operations and transport, especially in the capital. Private businesses, banks, and schools could close due to civil unrest.


 

Background and Analysis

Protests over the fuel shortages took off at the end of August; they have been sustained by persistent anti-government sentiment. The president survived an impeachment vote in Parliament, Aug. 22; however, he remains extremely unpopular across civil society and opposition groups, especially since he was implicated in an embezzlement scheme. An additional challenge for Moise is the Senate's refusal to ratify Prime Minister Fritz-William Michel, who has also been implicated in a corruption scandal.

Haiti has been without a government since March 18; the country is unable to rely on significant amounts of aid, which is dependent on having a government and a budget approval by both chambers of the national assembly. Moise may seek to remove Michel from his designation as Prime Minister; however, opposition groups remain adamant that changes in the government will not improve the political situation in Haiti unless Moise resigns.

Protester fatigue could lead to the demonstrations losing momentum over the coming weeks; this has occurred in Haiti in the past. Nonetheless, the security situation could deteriorate at short notice, and the country will likely continue to be affected by intermittent periods of heightened tensions when there is an uptick in violent civil unrest until Moise resigns.


 

Advice

Avoid all protests; shelter in place if unrest occurs nearby. Monitor local media for information regarding protest activity and road closures, especially in Port-au-Prince, as demonstrations may occur with little-to-no warning. Do not attempt to pass through roadblocks; wait for authorities to remove them. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.


Sept. 27 | Warning Alert
Violent nationwide protests in Haiti, Sept. 27. Roadblocks, clashes taking place, especially in and around Port-au-Prince.

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This alert began 27 Sep 2019 18:22 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 Sep 2019 12:00 GMT.

  • Event: Opposition protests
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Port-au-Prince
  • Date: Sept. 27
  • Impact: Increased security, business and traffic disruptions, roadblocks and clashes

 

Summary

Nationwide protests have turned violent in Haiti, Sept. 27, with reports indicating several casualties. Unconfirmed reports indicate that police have withdrawn from government offices, and government establishments have closed in Port-au-Prince. Crowds that number in the thousands have descended on major highways such as Route de Delmas; several reports indicate that large groups of protesters are making their way to Petionville to the home of President Jovenel Moise.

A group of opposition senators called for the protests to demand the resignation of Moise. The protests follow a televised speech by Moise the early hours of Sept. 25, in which he called for a national truce, but he still refused to resign. The most disruptive and violent protests are taking place in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Other common flashpoints for unrest include Rue Champs de Mars, Palais National, and Parliament, as well as Delmas and Petionville. Potentially violent protests are also likely in Cap-Haitien, Jacmel, Les Cayes, Petit Goave, and Saint-Marc.

Authorities will almost certainly maintain a heavy police presence near any large protests that materialize. The planned demonstrations take place amid sustained, violent protests throughout the country over fuel shortages; the elevated threat of violence extends to both planned and spontaneous protests in Haiti. Demonstrators will almost certainly block major roads within cities, as well as National Routes through the country. Demonstrators have also blocked routes to Port-au-Prince's Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) in recent days. Protesters could burn vehicles, vandalize or set fire to private businesses, and loot stores, as they did on Sept. 23 in response to news that a senator for the ruling Parti Haitien Tet Kale (PHTK), Jean-Marie Ralph Fethiere, opened fire outside Parliament. Fethiere claimed he was defending himself against a group of protesters. Large-scale protests are likely to cause significant disruptions to commercial operations and transport, especially in the capital. Private businesses, banks, and schools could close due to the civil unrest.


 

Background and Analysis

Moise broadcast his speech amid persistent anti-government sentiment and a spike in widespread protests over the country's worsening fuel shortages, which took off at the end of August. The president survived an impeachment vote in Parliament Aug. 22, but he remains extremely unpopular across civil society and opposition groups, especially since he was implicated in an embezzlement scheme. An additional challenge for Moise is the Senate's refusal to ratify Prime Minister Fritz-William Michel, who has also been implicated in a corruption scandal. Haiti has been without a government since March 18; Michel is the fourth prime minister to be announced during President Moise's term. Moise may seek to remove Michel from his designation as prime minister, but opposition groups remain adamant that changes in the government will not improve the political situation in Haiti unless Moise resigns.

 

Advice

Avoid all protests; shelter in place if unrest occurs nearby. Monitor local media for information regarding protest activity and road closures, especially in Port-au-Prince. Do not attempt to pass through roadblocks; wait for authorities to remove them. Confirm all business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.


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