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Haitian police, protesters collide; President calls for unity

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Haitian police fired rubber bullets and tear gas on Saturday to disperse anti-government protesters who blocked roads and set fire to the capital, Port-au-Prince. Several people were injured.

It was the latest unrest during more than a year of protests that called for President Jovenel Moise’s resignation over allegations of corruption. Haiti is currently experiencing a political impasse without parliament and is now operating by decree under Moïse.

The president marked Saturday by appealing for unity and laying a wreath at the 21

4th anniversary of Haiti’s first independent ruler Jean-Jacque Dessaline’s death.

Many Haitians criticize the government’s pandemic response, claiming that the authorities have not done enough to provide treatment for those affected, or offered financial support to those who lost their jobs due to a national shutdown in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the poor country.

Police have held their own protests in years, demanding better pay and working conditions. In February, police exchanged gunfire with Haitian soldiers outside the national palace, protesting working conditions.

Earlier this year, a violent UN report accused Haitian police of corruption and lack of protection of the population.

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