CrisisInSight Weekly Picks, 10 October 2019
Ongoing protests against the current Haitian President have intensified across the country in recent weeks. According to local sources, 17 people have been killed and nearly 200 injured since violence escalated around four weeks ago. The protests have had a direct impact on local infrastructure, most notably the health sector where hospitals have been forced to close due to access constraints, and a lack of medical supplies and staff. Education has also been affected, where according to some sources nearly 2 million children are unable to attend school due to closures as a result of the unrest. Many humanitarian organisations have had to suspend their operations, including WFP, due to security concerns and lack of fuel. Demonstrations calling for the resignation of the Haitain President, Jovenel Moise, have been recurring throughout the country for over a year; in June, protests resulted in 2 deaths and 4 injuries. However, the heightened level of violence in recent weeks reflects the deteriorating economic and political situation.
Protests started on Tuesday, 1 October in Baghdad and several southern cities, among them Basra, Amara, Al Nasiriya, Al Diwaniya, Samawa, Babel and Najaf. Most protesters are young Iraqi men demonstrating against corruption, unemployment, and lacking public services. Numbers from the Iraqi Interior Ministry released on Sunday set the death toll at 104 and report more than 6,100 wounded. As of 10 October, the protests seem to have died down. Humanitarian access has been disrupted, with ambulances reportedly unable to access the location of protests due to live fire and protesters carrying away the dead and injured or bringing the wounded to the hospitals themselves. Allegedly, a medic was arrested while treating demonstrators and teargas was fired at one convoy of ambulances. Internet was cut off repeatedly in the past week and a nightly 14-hour internet curfew is still ongoing.
The Turkish Armed Forces launched a military offensive into Kurdish-held territory in northeastern Syria on 9 October. There are reports of ground troops crossing the Syrian-Turkish border near Ras-Al-Ein and Tel Abiad. Airstrikes and artillery shelling have caused civilian casualties and displacements are being reported. The exact number of displacements is unclear, though estimates indicate that tens of thousands have fled the fighting. Continued escalation of conflict in northeast Syria puts nearly 2 million civilians at risk and further displacement is likely to exacerbate needs and push humanitarian services to their limits. The people living in northeast Syria have experienced multiple displacements, surrounding cities where people are likely to flee are heavily contaminated with mines and lack basic services, and IDP camps in the area are already overstretched due to years of conflict.