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Haiti's Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, lands in Puerto Rico amidst continuous gang violence


Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry landed in Puerto Rico after being unable to return to Haiti.

According to local media accounts, he flew from New Jersey to the United States on Tuesday and landed in the capital city of San Juan.

Following his travel to Kenya, Mr Henry's whereabouts have remained undisclosed recently.

During his absence, unrest has broken out in Haiti, with armed groups trying to take control of the international airport to stop his arrival.

Jimmy "Barbecue" Chérizier, the leader, has requested the prime minister's resignation, warning of a potential civil war and genocide if the prime minister does not step down.

Mr. Henry's perceived exclusion by the nation he governs reflects the dysfunctional condition of Haiti in recent days.

Haiti is on the brink of failing if it has yet to reach that point.

Ariel Henry's aircraft was denied entrance into Haiti and the Dominican Republic, leading to an emergency landing in Puerto Rico, a US territory, as reported by local news sources.

The Dominican Republic said on Tuesday that it will close its airspace with Haiti, with whom it shares the island of Hispaniola.

Luis Abinader, the head of state, has declared measures to ensure "peace and control" along the country's land border.

Mr Henry's jet may have been denied land clearance in Haiti due to several procedural issues.

Flights are suspended indefinitely due to a state of emergency declared on Sunday, resulting in the airport's closure in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Concerns for his safety might drive him. The gangs urging Mr Henry to step down may pose a danger to him, and his comeback might be seen as more destabilising than advantageous to the country's stability.

The prime minister and his supporters, including those in Washington, are more worried that his failed effort to return home would further damage his popularity.

The individuals in subordinate positions of power refuse his request to return to Haiti. He is now in Puerto Rico, contemplating his next course of action as his country descends into chaos.

Last week, Ariel Henry signed an agreement to deploy a multinational police force to Haiti while on his way to Kenya after participating in a regional meeting in Guyana.

While Chérizier was out, a coalition of gangs led by him carried out coordinated attacks on two central prisons in Haiti and targeted police stations. Around 4,000 convicts escaped.

Soldiers have been sent to secure the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince. Additionally, armed gang members have assaulted the city's police academy.

The United Nations states that the latest violent outburst has led to the relocation of around 15,000 individuals.

In 2021, Colombian mercenaries assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, leading to Ariel Henry assuming the presidency without being elected.

An agreement in the political realm mandated elections in Haiti and the resignation of Mr Henry by February 7th, which did not happen.

Thousands of people demonstrated in the streets, urging him to comply with the plan.

The killing in Haiti led to a power vacuum in the country, which is the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and resulted in a rise in gang violence.

Approximately 80% of Port-au-Prince has been seized by armed gangs that are using weaponry obtained from the US in recent years.

Mr Henry has asked for international forces to help fight these gangs, but they have yet to arrive.

His last visit to Kenya was to salvage an agreement to deploy over a thousand police personnel to Haiti, which was blocked in January by Kenya's High Court.

Jamaica, Antigua, and Barbuda are eager to help, while the Bahamas and Benin have pledged to deploy soldiers. The US has pledged £158 million ($200 million) to facilitate the deployment.

Haiti's public health system and economy are in disarray due to extensive political and social upheaval.

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