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Unrest in Haiti: An Update From the Mission Field

by MercyWorks on May 15, 2024

Fr. Alexandre Kakolo Beya, CICM, currently stationed in Mombin Crochu, Haiti, shares an update from the mission field about the deep unrest currently unfolding in the country.

Months and years have passed since the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, yet Haiti continues to suffer from devastating levels of social, economic, and political turbulence. Ariel Henry's resignation as Prime Minister in March 2024 only deepened the chaos, leaving the nation under the fragile governance of a Transitional Presidential Council. This council’s primary tasks involve restoring security, advancing peace, and organizing general elections – pivotal steps that hope to steer the country toward stability.

A Country Stalled by Violence

Tragically, the promise of transition has yet to translate into peace for Haitians. Armed gangs have escalated their aggression, launching attacks against police and military establishments, and have broken into two major prisons in Port-au-Prince, releasing a flood of prisoners.

The criminal activities have shuttered businesses, schools, and banks, and even forced the closure of everyday essentials like airports. Streets once bustling with life are now barricaded by the very residents who seek protection from the escalating gang violence.


A People Displaced

In this growing despair, many Haitians see no future here. Those with the means emigrate, often selling all their possessions to fund their departure, while others seek refuge from the perils of Port-au-Prince in rural areas like Mombin Crochu.

Here, as a parish priest and school administrator, we've welcomed numerous students from the troubled capital, their academic years uprooted by insecurity.

Economic Effects of Unrest

The crisis extends beyond immediate violence, also impacting the economy of rural Haiti. Gang-controlled roads prevent farmers from reaching markets in Port-au-Prince, driving up prices and intensifying hardships for families already at the edge. Insecurity and shortages mean essential supplies like food are becoming scarce, a dire reality affecting our students and the wider community's ability to survive.


I spoke with my parishioner Gelin Bilindjy about the intensifying unrest.

“I have been living in Port-au-Prince since 2018. I used to work in a restaurant in the City Center. Due to the insecurity, we closed as we did not receive enough customers; people weren't even leaving their homes. There are still some places where people work but it is not safe because gangs can attack at any time. At these establishments, employees are asked to reduce their salaries because of the decreasing customer numbers.”

Furthermore, Father Arsene Ngongue, an instructor at our formation house in Port-au-Prince, where young people train to become Missionhurst missionaries, shared that they closed the seminary due to violence. He remains unsure if they will ever be able to reopen it.

"We do not know when Haiti will find peace and security." - Father Arsene Ngongue, CICM


If you wish to support our missionaries as we continue to serve the people of Haiti amidst this unrest, please consider donating.

Pursuing Hope

Schools and businesses close when safety cannot be assured, forcing everyday Haitians to make impossible choices just to survive. In this moment of turmoil, we will continue to renew our commitment to imparting the healing hand of mercy to God's people here. Only through love and mercy can Haiti be revitalized. Let us keep our hope alive and pursue a future where every Haitian can live with the dignity God intended.



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