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Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF), an international medical charity, has suspended its operations indefinitely at an emergency medical center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This decision comes after an incident where an armed group forcibly removed a critically ill patient from an MSF ambulance and subsequently shot him dead.

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The incident occurred when an MSF ambulance convoy was ambushed in the Turgeau area of central Port-au-Prince. The attackers forced a patient out of the ambulance and killed him. MSF’s emergency center, which treats 80 to 100 patients daily, is one of the few remaining facilities offering medical care in a city largely controlled by gangs. These gangs have displaced nearly 200,000 people and are responsible for widespread violence, including arbitrary murders, kidnappings, and gang rapes.

In a statement, Benoit Vasseur, MSF’s head of mission in Hait, said, “We need a minimum of safety to carry out our medical mission. We can’t work if our medical mission is threatened by violence. We can’t accept that our ambulances are attacked, and our patients are beaten and killed.”

This comes as Haiti’s spiraling gang violence, exacerbated by the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, has led to growing insecurity and humanitarian crises. Prime Minister Ariel Henry has sought international assistance as attacks and vigilante reprisals surge. The violence restricts access to healthcare and essential supplies, causing school closures and worsening food shortages.


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