Haiti’s Port-au-Prince airport reopens for first time since country hit with gang violence

Written by on May 21, 2024

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(NEW YORK) — Haiti’s Port-au-Prince airport has been reopened after being closed for nearly three months after unprecedented gang violence forced it to close, effectively sealing the capital city off from the rest of the world.

So far, only Sunrise Airways, a small regional carrier, has resumed flights, but other international flights, including those operated by JetBlue and American Airlines, could start operating again in the next few weeks.

The only way to safely reopen the airport was to bulldoze hundreds of homes in its immediate vicinity, according to two Haitian officials briefed on the plans.

It was from the roofs of these homes that gang members were able to shoot into the airport during early March attacks, at one point even hitting planes parked on the runway.

Residents of the homes who were forced to flee the area are due to be compensated for the moves, according to those officials.

American military flights have landed nearly two dozen times in recent weeks as they shuttle in aid and supplies, much of which is designed to support the upcoming international security mission.

Kenyan Police Heading to Haiti Soon

Dozens of Kenyan police officers who have signed up to be a part of the UN-backed international security force will arrive in Haiti “soon,” according to a senior Kenyan government official. It could be as soon as this week.

The force will eventually grow to roughly 1,000 officers and hundreds of officers from several other countries, many of whom will arrive later in the summer.

The deployment comes just as Kenyan President Ruto is set to have a state visit to Washington, D.C.

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