Haitian Police undercover operation in populous neighborhood blew up, resulting in shootings with gangs

Posted by LeNouvelliste on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Under: Security
Image result for commissaire Berson Soljour

Another day of tension on Tuesday at Cité Plus, Bicentennial, at the southern exit of Port-au-Prince, an area held by armed gangs. While national police officers who infiltrated the population were spinning to apprehend the powerful gang leader known as Arnel, they were attacked by the armed group of the latter ...

Heavy gunfire, armed police, sheltering pedestrians, motorcyclists and motorists running around ... The Portail-Léogâne, Martissant and Bicentenaire areas still experienced hours of panic Tuesday afternoon. At the root of this tense situation, exchanges of fire between a unit of the national police and the Arnel gang in Cité Plus.

Police officers positioned in a house in Cité Plus who followed the movements of gang leader Arnel to apprehend him, were denounced by a member of the population, said Tuesday night to the Nouvelliste, the Western departmental director of the national police . According to Commissioner Berson Soljour, once informed of the presence of these police officers in the area, Arnel and his gang attacked them. "The officers fought back, and there is information that Arnel would be injured during the shootout, but I can not confirm it for now," he told the newspaper by phone.

Subsequently, supported by armored vehicles, units of the PNH have invested the Cité Plus neighborhood in search of the gang leader. The police returned empty-handed and made no arrests, the police chief in the department said.
The police officer regretted the fact that fear of people in gang-controlled areas refuses to collaborate with the officers, which complicates the work of the police, he acknowledged.

Local people interviewed Tuesday night by Le Nouvelliste confirm that members of the population were injured during the shootings. Commissioner Soljour says that it is possible that there are victims among the inhabitants of the area, because, he said, the bandits were firing in all directions. However, he said no policeman was injured during the operation. He was not able, at the time of the interview, to tell the paper if gang members were injured.

Berson Soljour told the newspaper that the police would take advantage of this situation to strengthen its presence in the area.

He gave the guarantee that the PNH would do everything to protect the property and the lives of the population, stressing that the police have control of the situation today and forever.

He called on the population to collaborate with the police while highlighting the difficulties of the police to conduct operations in areas such as Martissant, Village-de-Dieu, Cité Plus, among others, because of anarchic constructions.

Last week, armed gangs in the Bicentennial border areas, less than three minutes away from the National Palace, had already made use of the gunpowder to assert their power. It is in this context that last week before the Senate that Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant, in his capacity as President of the High Council of the National Police (CSPN), declared loud and clear that Haiti is a safe and secure country and that the issue of insecurity has been amplified by social networks.

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