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Popular Anger Fuels Protest in Haiti
Demonstrators demand President's resignation as UN renews "hugely unpopular" MINUSTAH
Hundreds of young protestors took to the streets of Port Au Prince on Sunday in protest of higher living costs. The demonstrators wound their way through the poor shanty neighborhoods to the presidential palace, where police were deployed.
Opposition supporters and other protestors called for President Michael Martelly's resignation. According to Al Jazeera, "Martelly is accused of breaking promises to cover the cost of school tuition and failing to do enough to alleviate the suffering of the Caribbean nation's poor."
Edner Rosier, one of the organizers of the protest, said "Martelly is wasting the meager resources of the country to buy luxury vehicles and for international trips that don't bring anything to the country." Coincidentally, as the rally assembled outside his palace, Martelly was in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a summit of french-speaking nations.
Mr Martelly took office last year, promising a fresh start for the earthquake-ravaged nation. Opposition groups have accused the leader with corruption and have organized a number of similar anti-government rallies in various cities next week.
“Grassroots organizations are going to organize with the other political forces to mobilize the rest of the country against this corrupt regime supported by a few members of the international community,” Yves Pierre-Louis, told Agence-France Presse, accusing foreign diplomats of interfering in Haitian affairs.
Adding to popular anger, on Friday the United Nations renewed its peacekeeping mandate, MINUSTAH. According to the BBC, the UN's mission became "hugely unpopular" after it was confirmed that peacekeeping troops were responsible for an outbreak of cholera--which has claimed more than 7,000 lives in Haiti.
In conjunction with the protests next week, demonstrators and opposition leaders are demanding compensation for victims of the cholera epidemic.