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“The war in Ukraine is a steamroller that crushes other crisis situations like those in Ethiopia or Haiti”


Ihere are so many ways to tell about the war, its bravery, its horrors. The one raging in Ukraine is no exception: a large disparate narrative is bubbling there, against a backdrop of geopolitical changes and global concerns. This war is also, like any major crisis, a steamroller crushing any form of alternative attention.

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Elsewhere in the world, other crisis situations are relegated to limited visibility by this high-stakes, high-spectacle machine. A civil war in northern Ethiopia has been going on behind closed doors for two years. Is it over? Hardly anyone outside the region bothered to make sure. The fate of a nation of over 100 million people depends on it. The conflict that tears it apart may have resulted in the deaths of 100,000 people. Or even double. Figures of an order of magnitude comparable to that of the estimates of military losses on both sides in Ukraine.

In a different genre, a country collapses on itself in a slow motion to which no one seems to pay the attention it deserves. This country is Haiti. Tiny progress has been made there recently, which speaks to the ordeal the Caribbean nation is going through. At the beginning of November, a series of police operations, equipped with new armored vehicles, chased the coalition of G9 gangs – whose figurehead is the former policeman Jimmy Chérizier, known as “Barbecue” – from the entrance to the terminal. oil tanker in Varreux, Haiti’s main access point for fuel. Tanker trucks under strong escort began to supply gradually Port-au-Prince, the capital, then the rest of the regions, after two months of shortage.

“Our country is on the verge of collapse”

Unblocking the terminal will not solve all the ills from which the country suffers, where more than a hundred gangs are now active. A new cholera epidemic is gaining momentum. The armed gangs, partly responsible for this situation, are indifferent to it. However, these gangs are not neighborhood banditry, even aggravated. For a long time, thugs have served Haitian political leaders, from the “tontons macoutes” of President Duvalier, to the “chimeras” of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

“During the last three decades, some politicians have dealt with gangs and armed groups in the context of political mobilizations, campaigns and electoral operations, repression of protest movements”, summarizes the professor at the State University of Haiti Jhon Picard Byron in a column published by AlterPresse, August 27. On election days, thugs are used to direct the voting of entire neighborhoods. But, for ten years and the coming to power of Michel Martelly (2011-2016), everything has exploded: the power of these gangs, corruption, attacks against institutions.

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