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Haiti PM condemns Killing of three officers by Barbeque Gang

By Antynet Ford

Haiti’s new prime minister condemned the gang killings of three police officers on duty in a district of the capital controlled by gang leader Jimmy “Barbeque” Cherizier.

On Sunday, a group of armed men led by Cherizier ambushed and set fire to a police patrol from the anti-gang unit in the Delmas 18 district, according to police in the Caribbean country.

Two officers were killed on the scene, and two were evacuated by reinforcements; one of them later died in the hospital.

Prime Minister Garry Conille promised state aid to the victims’ families. Conille was sworn in this month and has yet to appoint a government despite gaining power nearly three months after his predecessor, Ariel Henry, announced his retirement.

“This barbaric act is a direct attack on the security and stability of the nation,” Conille said in a televised speech. “I send heartfelt condolences to the family of these officers who are gone along with their colleagues and friends.”

He spoke after being briefly hospitalised on Saturday for what his office called “a slight illness.”

Police union SYNAPOHA, however, said words were not enough and demanded the victim’s bodies be returned.

Unverified videos on social media apparently filmed by gang members appear to show footage of the charred truck and captured firearms.

Gang leader Cherizier later shared a video on social media in which he said police officers had gone rogue and come “to kill people in lower Delmas.” He also challenged police to recover the seized firearms if they could.

Kenyan President William Ruto on Sunday said that a long-awaited deployment of Kenyan police officers set to lead a UN-sanctioned international force to support Haitian police should arrive in one or two weeks, African news outlets reported.

It remains unclear when the rest of the force – with troops from Benin, Chad, Bangladesh and the Caribbean – would land. SYNAPOHA warned at the start of this year of a rapidly shrinking and under-resourced police body.

Read also: Kenya Takes Lead in Haiti Mission: Deploys 1,000 Police Officers to Restore Order

The international force was initially requested by Haiti’s former government in 2022 but has faced extended delays. Gangs have since grown their control over the capital, pushing hundreds of thousands from their homes and millions into hunger.

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