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Gang wars in Haiti have trapped thousands of people in a slum in the capital without food and water even as the Caribbean nation reels from a fuel shortage, the Guardian reported Saturday.
Officials said fighting in Port-au-Prince’s notorious Cité Soleil slum has left at least 89 dead and around 100 wounded. Global medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières urged criminal groups to allow aid to enter the district and to spare civilians.
About 20,000 people have fled their homes since May because of gang warfare, according to the United Nations.
Human rights groups described the situation in the streets as “a real battlefield,” as rival militias – some tacitly supported by the government and security forces – jostle for territory.
Haiti has seen months of violent social unrest over fuel shortages: The rising violence has prompted the closure of petrol stations across the country. Because of a lack of electrical infrastructure, many Haitians rely on petrol to fuel generators that power homes and businesses.
The recent gang wars and energy shortages have added to the list of woes plaguing the desperate Caribbean nation.
Earlier this month, Haiti commemorated the first anniversary of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Last August, a powerful earthquake killed more than 2,200 people and destroyed or damaged 135,000 buildings in the country’s rural south.