Carnival celebrations in Haiti cancelled following violent clashes

Off-duty police officers run towards and armed clash with army soldiers during a protest over police pay and working conditions in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday. (Photo: news.yahoo.com)

Haiti has cancelled carnival celebrations following violent clashes on Sunday (Feb 23) between members of the Haitian Armed Forces (FADH) and members of the National Police of Haiti (PNH).

The PNH is demanding that the authorities accept the formation of the Haitian National Police (SPNH) union. The clashes also involved persons demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise and members of the Haitian Armed Forces.

The clashes took place in the Champ de Mars area in the capital where gunfire was heard most of the day.

Violate freedom and democracy

In a statement, the government said that it was condemning “these acts of violence and acts which violate freedom and democracy.”

The government also urged people to be vigilant “in these troubled moments of national life”, noting that “in any case, it cannot allow a trivial exploitation of the demands of the PNH and justify these violent actions which expose the country as much, through an alleged rejection of carnival by a certain sector of the population.

“In order to avoid the planned bloodshed, the Government takes the opportunity to inform the population and the carnivalists in particular that it has been decided to cancel the carnival in Port-au-Prince and invites the Haitian people to keep calm pending the next announcements,” the statement added.