PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Monday February 24, 2020 – Haiti's annual Carnival, scheduled to be staged from yesterday until Wednesday, has been called off following violent clashes between the country's soldiers and police.
On what was to be day one of the celebration at the Champ de Mars, members of President Jovenel Moise's reconstituted Armed Forces of Haiti and off-duty members of the Haiti National Police and their supporters exchanged gunfire a short distance from the presidential palace. 19659003] Hooded gunmen identified as disgruntled off-duty police officers fire towards on-duty police & soldiers allied with #PHTK regime. A power struggle over the spoils of corruption has erupted within #Haiti 's US / UN trained & armed police force. pic.twitter.com/wReKHg5ZO5
– Haiti Information Project 📡 (@HaitiInfoProj) February 24, 2020
Hours after the afternoon battle, government announced that the festival would be canceled “in order to avoid the planned bloodshed”.
Reports indicated that at least one
person was fatally shot in the head and more than a dozen other people were
The deadly clash came during a protest that was organized by police officers demanding better pay and working conditions and demanding that authorities accept their effort to unionize.
During the unrest, a stand that was built for the festivities was destroyed by the protesters.
While the government says it cannot increase the officers' employees, President Moise announced several other measures, including: doubling a monthly police debit card from $ 51 to $ 102 for 15,000 members of the police force; and the construction of a new police housing village with two-bedroom apartments that would be sold with a 25 to 30-year mortgage at 7.5 percent interest.
Haiti’s Carnival was also canceled last year due to unrest.
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