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There are still efforts to find common ground to address the issues facing the country in recent years. To that end, a meeting was held last week between representatives of the Montana Accord and the September 11 accords, favored by the interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry, in order to come to peaceful and effective governance. According to representatives of the monitoring group of the Montana accord, the two parties focused their discussions on the current political crisis and ways to get out it. The parties pledged to work to come to an agreement in the not-too-distant future. Though no agreement has been reached, a representative said that they’re still in the dialogue phase and not the negotiation phase, but hope that they will achieve something serious by their next meeting. The signatories of the September 11, 2021 agreement had not indicated that they were discussing on behalf of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, but they were sure to note that they are going to continue until they achieve the objective, which is to make this agreement effective, according to their spokesperson, Arnel Rémy. Representatives of the Montana Accord continue to advocate the establishment of a 5-member presidential college.

For their part, representatives of political parties and social organizations that are signatories to the September 11, 2021 agreement: Emmanuel Ménard, president of the Force Louverturienne party, Abel Descollines of the Collective of former opposition deputies and allies (CADOA) and Valéry Jacques Dutreuil, confirmed that the talks, with representatives of the Montana-accord, are part of the will of their parties to seek ways and means together to find a national consensus. This national consensus could favor a political agreement, by the adoption of a realistic Haitian formula, to govern the interim period leading hopefully to a sustainable agreement for the future. The plan is to continue the discussions, prioritizing the national interest for the benefit of the population. This meeting follows several attempts by representatives of the Montana Accord to discuss with the Prime Minister Ariel Henry, at the same time; his government has announced the establishment of a mediation committee to organize discussions with different sectors involved in the crisis.

Meanwhile, the Superior council of the judiciary, CSPJ, has placed 18 judges on administrative leave. According to a spokesperson for the national association of Haitian magistrates, Jean Wilner Morin, between 10 to 12 judges were laid off without pay because they have abdicated their duties by going abroad while still receiving their pay checks, while others are placed on leave with pay but without benefits from the perks and privileges their offices afforded. Some of these judges include Judge Garry Orélien, who is suspected of corruption, in the context of the investigation of the case of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Another judge, Ésaïe Pierre-Louis of the Croix des Bouquets jurisdiction is among this group of judges under suspicion of ethical lapses due to his clearing of gang leader Vitelome. The latter is an ally of 400 Mawozo. Layoffs without pay are considered a revocation of duties. While layoffs with pay are sanctions pending the decision of the disciplinary tribunal, concludes Jean Wilner Morin.

Elsewhere, several alleged bandits were shot dead over the past weekend during armed clashes with agents of the Haitian National Police (PNH). One individual named Yòyò, former member of the gang led by the one named Jeneral, was shot dead on Saturday April 16, 2022, in the commune of Tabarre (north-east of the capital, Port-au-Prince), during exchanges of fire with the PNH. Yòyò and other armed individuals who were ransoming merchants as well as passers-by at the Tabarre public market, fired on a police patrol which had arrived on the scene. At the same time, in Canaan (north of Port-au-Prince), James Henry, alias Chiller, was killed in armed clashes with national police officers. James Henry’s mission was to seize the land from the inhabitants of the said area and to hand over the money from the sale of this land to the gang leader Lanmò San Jou, of the 400 Mawozo, who perpetrates numerous crimes in Croix-des-Bouquets for the purpose of purchasing ammunition. James Henry and his cronies specialized in hijacking cargo trucks in Canaan 50 and 70. In addition, two alleged bandits, part of the 5 segonn gang operating in Village de Dieu, were shot dead on Saturday April 16, 2022, at 5th avenue Bolosse, in the area of Martissant during clashes with a patrol of the officers of the peace, UDMO. Several of these alleged bandits were also injured during these exchanges of fire. Three people were arrested in the Central Plateau for illegal possession of firearms. Four (4) firearms, three (3) vehicles and two (2) motorcycles were also confiscated during operations carried out last weekend by the police across the country.

The police have reiterated their determination to do everything possible to prevent all the thugs from terrorizing the population. On Thursday April 14, 2022, the de facto Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to fight insecurity and gangs, during a ceremony to hand over 16 vehicles to the National Police. According to him, “It is with our meager resources that we are now obtaining the means, in order to continue to support the paying efforts of the police.”

Finally, the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) is informing the general public of a new form of highly contagious skin infection similar to scabies (Sarcoptosis) that has been detected in several areas of the country. The information is trending on all forms of social media and creating a climate of panic, where images of teenagers with super infected skin lesions in the town of Kenscoff. The ministry is thereby informing people with any of these signs and symptoms to go to the nearest health facility to be adequately cared for. The symptoms include itching and skin lesions from scratching, especially at night. Dr Alex Larsen, the health minister encourages the population to “avoid all direct contact with an infected person; boil bedding; disinfect clothing, sheets, pillows and bath towels; ventilate spaces; bathe with clean water; and above all avoid scratch the skin despite the urge”. In addition, the Ministry of Public Health and Population, through the Western Health Department, has already initiated awareness and treatment campaigns in the areas concerned. The MSPP calls on the population to be vigilant in order to curb the spread of this infectious disease.

In the early hours of Tuesday, a fire ravaged the Beaudoin market, the largest public market in Jacmel, destroying everything in its path, while the office of the ombudsman (OPC) is asking the general public to commemorate April 26th in memory of the victims of Fort Dimanche.

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