[QODLink]
Americas

Haiti anti-government protest turns violent

Demonstrators call on President Martelly to resign, accusing him of cronyism and failing to ease poverty.

Last updated: 08 Nov 2013 09:11
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Haiti has seen a wave of anti-government protests over the past month [Reuters]

Thousands of Haitian protesters have demanded the resignation of President Michel Martelly, clashing with supporters of the leader in the streets of Port-au-Prince.

Protesters said two people suffered gunshot wounds after Martelly loyalists opened fire during Thursday's skirmishes that lasted for several hours.

The two sides hurled stones at each other during the fighting, which brought parts of the city to a standstill and triggered huge traffic jams.

Anti-Martelly demonstrators accused the Haitian president of cronyism, charging that he is ruling the impoverished Caribbean nation for the benefit of his friends and family.

"We are from the ghettos. We get nothing from the government which works only for the rich," protester Johnny Joseph shouted.

The march began peacefully as the crowd grew to a few thousand people and passed through poor neighbourhoods, many of them strongholds of government critics.

"This is the people's fight for a change for better conditions,'' said Carlo Jean Daniel as he walked among the marchers. "Nothing is coming down for the people."

The demonstrators were dispersed by police after attempting to reach the Presidential Palace.

Haiti has seen a wave of anti-government protests over the past month, with demonstrators accusing Martelly of failing to ease poverty and unemployment and demanding his resignation.

The United Nations' peacekeeping mission in Haiti issued a statement on Thursday asking the divided legislative and executive branches to agree on "priority political issues," which include the holding of elections.

232

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.