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PROTESTERS shut down major cities in Haiti on Monday and clashed with police as they demanded the resignation of unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
This comes as a communist leader in Kenya warned his country’s president against interfering in the Caribbean nation.
Banks, schools and government agencies closed in Haiti’s northern and southern regions while protesters blocked roads with blazing tyres and paralysed public transport, according to local media reports.
In Hinche, a city in Haiti’s central region, protesters celebrated the arrival of heavily armed state environmental agents and their commander, Joseph Jean Baptiste, who demanded that Mr Henry resign.
“I want Ariel to stand in front of my bullets, so they go through him,” the commander said as someone filmed him while the crowd cheered.
“We’re the ones who have the support of the population,” he said.
The agents, who belong to the Security Brigade for Protected Areas, have come under government scrutiny following recent clashes with police in northern Haiti.
Smaller demonstrations took place in the capital of Port-au-Prince, where dozens of protesters gathered in front of Henry’s office before police fired tear gas, dispersing the crowd.
This comes after the insistence of Kenyan President William Ruto that he intends to send a United States-sponsored police force to Haiti “as soon as next week” despite a prohibition by Kenya’s High Court.
But in an interview with People’s Dispatch, Communist Party of Kenya national organising secretary Booker Ngesa Omole warned: “We will fight in the streets of Nairobi for our brothers and sisters in Haiti” if Kenya’s government proceeds to deploy its police to the Caribbean nation.
He told People’s Dispatch that the “biggest killer of young people in Kenya today is not malaria or any other disease, but the police.
“This is the kind of police the US has chosen to lead its intervention in Haiti.”
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