Haiti descends into anarchy, as gangs tighten grip on capital

The Caribbean nation of Haiti is gradually descending into anarchy and chaos following continued violence in the country.

Over the weekend, the violence in the capital Port-au-Prince ramped up once again. Heavily armed gangs attacked the National Palace and set part of the Interior Ministry on fire with petrol bombs.

It comes after a sustained attack on the international airport, which remains closed to all flights; including one carrying Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

He tried to fly back to Haiti from the United States last week, but his plane was refused permission to land. He was then turned away from the neighbouring Dominican Republic too.

Mr Henry is now stuck in Puerto Rico, unable to set foot in the nation he ostensibly leads.

A UN-backed plan for a Kenyan-led rapid reaction force to tackle the gangs is still far from becoming a reality.

To add to the lawlessness, a week ago, around 4,000 inmates escaped after the gangs attacked the main prison in Port-au-Prince.

Those prisoners are now back on the streets and bolstering the ranks of their gangs.

In the aftermath, the cell doors are now wide open, the facility is virtually abandoned and there are blood stains on the ground after gunmen overpowered the guards.

A prime minister unable to return, violent gangs in control of the capital and dead bodies piling up on the streets: Haiti is currently a nation about as close to a failed state as it’s possible to be.

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