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As armed gangs continue to expand their hold in Haiti, the National Association of Haitian Police Officers (Sinapoha) blasts systematic flaws in law enforcement equipment and training as well as errors in planning police operations. Interview with its spokesman, Francisco Osil.
Tension is at its peak in Haiti. The embassies of France and Spain closed their doors in Port-au-Prince this Friday and the Bahamas is ordering its diplomatic staff to leave the country. The country’s police is angry and has disclosed this. On Thursday, they tried to storm the residence of Prime Minister Ariel Henry and stormed Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince for several hours. in question, The murder of six of his own men by an armed gang in Liancourt, a locality in the Department of Artibonite. Last play of a long series. Since the beginning of this year, 14 police officers have been killed.
RFI: Six police officers were murdered this Wednesday in Liancourt. How do you explain this hefty balance sheet?
Francisco Osil: The bandits numbered between 100 and 150, and were far better armed than the police. Furthermore, many police officers were not aware of the exact configuration of the area of operation. For example, a police officer who was shot and wounded did not even know where he was when he called for reinforcements. And there is still no response from the National Police: the bandits are still in their stronghold. We could not even recover the dead body of the police.
Who is responsible for the current state of insecurity?
The central state is responsible for us. Why ? Because there is no plan of protection. We do not see any will to address this form of insecurity. We also call upon politicians to shoulder their responsibilities: many youths who are part of these gangs are armed with politicians to serve their own interests. Time and again, police officers have been killed in action and there has been no real response from the police and state authorities.
So police are mobilizing to demand special forces on gangs to deal with this type of insecurity. We demand tanks, armored vehicles that can enter these lawless areas. We demand so that the police do their work properly. Finally, the Association of Haitian Police Officers calls for support measures for the families of police officers killed during this operation in Liancourt.
Is trust broken between the police and the government of Ariel Henry today?
The police have lost faith in the top level police officers. They no longer trust the state officials. And that is the reason why there was reaction of these policemen against the Prime Minister and reaction of many policemen on the streets. As an association, we call upon the police to conduct this movement peacefully. We are still armed, still graded: we must demonstrate discipline and professionalism. But we also demand that the police officers and state authorities take their responsibility.
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