Skydio assessment sparks hope among Americans in drone war with China

California-based Skydio became the first U.S. drone maker to be valued at over $ 1 billion in fundraising that shows greater confidence in U.S. second act in war drones with China.

The new valuation comes from a $ 171 million investment led by Andreessen Horowitz’s growth fund, doubling all fundraising since its founding in 2014. Other participants in the round included existing investors Linse Capital, Next47 and IVP, as well as a new investor in UP. The partners.

This is the first major fundraiser since Washington placed China’s DJI, the world’s leading drone company, on the list of entities banning American companies from supplying it with components. The move is widely expected to propel the growth of the U.S. drone industry as products evolve from flying cameras designed for consumers to more sophisticated tools for business and government.

Skydio had been consumer-oriented in its early days, making drones for hobbyists who might want an aerial photo of themselves cycling up a mountain. To avoid trees while maintaining high resolution, she developed obstacle avoidance software that later became critical in her transition to commercial applications – now the fastest growing segment in the industry.

“It turns out that developing all of the software and hardware to do this has set them up to be best-in-class to compete in the enterprise markets,” said David Ulevitch, general partner of Andreessen Horowitz.

Until recently, the Chinese DJI beat its competitors in terms of performance and price. Its estimated market share in the mainstream market is north of 70%, an overwhelming domination that drove GoPro and 3D Robotics out of the mainstream market years ago.

But as drones increasingly use software to create real-time 3D models of infrastructure like bridges and then upload them to the cloud for analysis, US companies led by Skydio, American Robotics, Teal and Draganfly believe they have a second chance in the booming market. .

“The potential of drones has really captured the imaginations of people in the consumer world, capturing incredible video – and in the industrial world for inspection, mapping and surveillance,” said Adam Bry, Managing Director of Skydio.

“But the paradigm is still this manually driven world,” he added. “The real change that is happening in the market is this transition to fully autonomous operations, where the drone lives in a dock, it is connected to the Internet, and it flies itself on demand wherever it is needed.

Skydio’s flagship X2 is equipped with seven cameras, 100x zoom, night vision and promises to turn ordinary users into expert pilots with its self-piloting capabilities.

They are “easy to fly and virtually impossible to crash,” said Benjamin Spain, who heads the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s drone program, which has 11 Skydio planes.

According to September projections from Valuates Reports, a market research study, the global commercial drone industry is expected to grow by a third each year, from $ 6.5 billion last year to $ 35 billion in 2026.

The commercial sector had become the most lucrative market for drones even before Covid-19, but the pandemic has accelerated this growth by highlighting the need for contactless technology.

No matter how great the opportunity, DJI cannot be seen as a competitor. While the group may find it difficult to build the best drones without thermal cameras and chipsets from U.S. companies, they remain on sale at Best Buy and the Apple Store, and anecdotal data suggests they continue to thrive.

In a survey of more than 2,000 business users by DroneDeploy, a leading software group, 78% said they would continue to use DJI. Skydio was far behind at 7%, said Mike Winn, CEO of DroneDeploy.

DJI’s share “is lower than it was before, so it definitely helps US companies, and it’s really exciting for the industry,” he said. “But that doesn’t have the impact some people imagined.”

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In Nigeria, an agonizing wait for the parents of 300 abducted girls | Children’s rights news

Families in Zamfara State, northwest Nigeria, desperately await news of their kidnapped daughters after more than 300 schoolgirls were taken by gunmen to a public school on Friday, the latest in a series mass kidnappings from schools to hit the country.

Some parents and other family members gathered at the girls’ boarding school in Jangebe village on Sunday amid rumors the children had regained their freedom after being held in a forest.

“There have been rumors that the girls have been found; the government denied them, but these rumors refuse to go away, ”said Ahmed Idris of Al Jazeera, reporting from the school.

As police coordinate a joint rescue operation with the military and helicopters roaming the forest, Idris said a number of government ministers arrived in Zamfara to meet with local officials. “Senior officials confirmed to Al Jazeera that progress has been made and [expressed hope] in the next 24 hours, the girls will be back home, ”Idris added.

A team of security experts visit the school one day after the kidnapping [Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters]

Locals say more than 100 gunmen in military uniforms stormed the village early Friday morning before heading to the school hostel for the sleeping students.

Humaira Mustapha’s two daughters – Hafsa and Aisha, aged 14 and 13 respectively – were among the 317 schoolgirls abducted.

“Every time I think of my daughters, I am filled with indescribable grief,” Mustapha told AFP news agency, making no effort to wipe away the tears that were streaming down his cheeks.

“Every time I serve food to their younger sister, tears keep falling from my eyes because I keep thinking about the hunger and thirst they are going through,” the mother of three said. 30-year-olds.

“I call on the governor to do everything to save our daughters who are facing a real danger to their lives,” added Mustapha. “As a mother, my anguish crushes me.”

‘Afraid to go back to school’

Aliyu Ladan Jangebe said his five daughters, aged 12 to 16, were at school when the kidnappers stormed in. Four were taken away but one escaped hiding in a bathroom with three other girls, he told the Associated Press news agency.

“We are not [a] good mood because when you have five children and are able to have (just) one. We only thank God… But we are not happy, ”Jangebe said.

“We cannot imagine their situation,” he said of his missing daughters. Residents of a nearby village said the kidnappers drove the girls through the town like animals, he said.

Masauda Umar was among the schoolgirls who managed to escape. “I was coming out of the door and met someone, but I ran back and hid under my bed,” she said. “I’m afraid to go back to school because of what happened, but I will go back if the government provides security.”

A resident of the village said the gunmen also attacked a nearby military camp and checkpoint, preventing soldiers from responding to the mass kidnapping.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said the government’s priority is to bring back all hostages unharmed.

The kidnapping of the girls sparked international outrage, with the UN chief calling for the girls’ “immediate and unconditional release” and their safe return to their families.

Nigeria has seen several such attacks and kidnappings in recent years. On Saturday, 24 students, six staff and eight relatives were released after being kidnapped on February 17 from Government Science College in Kagara in Niger state.

In December, more than 300 schoolchildren from a secondary school in Kankara, northwestern Nigeria, were taken away and released. The government said no ransom was paid for the release of the students.

The most notorious kidnapping took place in April 2014, when 276 girls were kidnapped by the armed group Boko Haram from Chibok secondary school in Borno state. More than 100 of these girls are still missing.

Boko Haram is opposed to Western education and its fighters often target schools. Other organized armed groups, known locally as bandits, often kidnap students for money. The government claims that large groups of gunmen in Zamfara state are known to kidnap for money and press for the release of their members held in prison.

Nigerian criminal networks could plot more such kidnappings if this round of kidnappings goes unpunished, analysts say.

“While improving community policing and security in general remains a challenge in the medium to long term, in the short term, authorities must punish those responsible to send a strong message that there will be no tolerance for towards such acts, ”said Rida Lyammouri, senior member of the Policy Center for the New South, a Morocco-based think tank.

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Biden under pressure for tougher action against Saudi crown prince

The Biden administration defended Sunday against criticism that it failed to punish Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, as allies of the president left the door open to new actions.

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said the United States wanted to “recalibrate” relations with Saudi Arabia, but not destroy them by imposing sanctions directly on Prince Mohammed after US intelligence report found he approved an operation to “capture or kill” the veteran journalist in Turkey in 2018.

“Even in the recent history of Democratic and Republican administrations, there have been no sanctions in place for foreign leaders or governments where we have diplomatic relations – and even where we do not have relations. diplomatic, ”Psaki told CNN.

“We believe there are more effective ways to ensure that this does not happen again and also to be able to leave room to work with the Saudis in areas where there is mutual agreement where there is a national interest. for the United States.

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, announced last week a visa ban on 76 Saudi nationals suspected of having been implicated in the threat of dissidents abroad in the continuation of the intelligence report. This report concluded that the Saudi crown prince had approved an operation in Turkey to “capture or kill” Khashoggi, a senior journalist.

But the administration’s decision not to individually sanction Prince Mohammed has caused dismay among human rights activists and some Democrats in Congress.

Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Friday he wanted the White House to consider personal sanctions against the crown prince.

Andy Kim, Democratic member of the House of Representatives Committee on External Relations and former head of national security, tweeted on the weekend: “The lack of action against the crown prince sends a clear message across the world that those at the top can escape the consequences.”

The criticisms echoed complaints from human rights groups and journalists, many of whom have also called for Prince Mohammed to be personally sanctioned. The Society of Professional Journalists said on Friday it was “outraged” that no one has yet been held responsible for Khashoggi’s death, adding: “We will continue to press for justice for Khashoggi.

Biden is due to make an announcement on Monday on the future of the US-Saudi relationship, although officials said over the weekend that he was unlikely to announce any new sanctions immediately.

Prince Mohammed is not the Saudi head of state, but its day-to-day leader.

Sherrod Brown, another senior Democratic senator: “We have to make sure that we make the Saudis, and especially the Saudi member of the royal family or members of the royal family, to hold them accountable.”

Asked about the likelihood of that happening, he added, “I don’t think this is a final end of story decision. We are talking to the White House. The others too. We have to hold any foreign authoritarian like the royal family, some members of the royal family, we have to hold them accountable.

Chris Coons, one of Biden’s closest allies in the Senate, defended the president but also hinted that further action would be taken.

“We are not yet done recalibrating the relationship between the United States and the Saudi Kingdom, and I respect the way President Biden has elevated human rights.”

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Chadian opposition leader says several relatives were killed in domestic raid | Idriss Deby News

Yaya Dillo told reporters his mother and son were among five of his family killed when security forces attacked his home in N’Djamena.

A former rebel leader and candidate in Chad’s upcoming presidential election said security forces attacked his home in the capital N’Djamena and killed several members of his family.

Yaya Dillo told French RFI radio that he was attacked Sunday morning by members of the presidential guard, led by the son of Chadian President Idriss Deby.

“At 5 am, they attacked my house. The president’s guard … they killed my mother, my son and three [other relatives],” he said.

A government statement said the raid was an operation to arrest Dillo, who he said failed to fulfill two court warrants.

He said government forces opened fire after encountering armed resistance. Two people were killed and five injured in the ensuing fight, including three police officers, he said.

Netblocks, a UK-based service that tracks internet disruptions, reported that internet access in N’Djamena was cut off on Sunday.

Dillo said his house has been surrounded by government forces since the incident.

Dillo is an official rebel leader who fought against Deby in 2006 before joining his government and becoming a minister. More recently, he was Chad’s representative to the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).

He is one of 16 people who announced they would run against Deby in the April election.

Deby, who has been in power since 1990, passed a new constitution in 2018 that restored term limits but could let him stay in power until 2033.

Hundreds of people took to the streets earlier this month to protest his candidacy in the upcoming elections.

Deby has faced strikes and protests in recent years over economic hardship caused by low oil prices and armed rebellions in the north, but he relied on his effective control of the media and institutions of ‘State to maintain its political domination.

Chad is a key ally of Western nations in the fight against armed groups in West and Central Africa.

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How to set up a 4G LTE Wi-Fi network as an alternative to broadband

For many us, especially in rural areas, broadband speeds Cable or DSL (or God forbid, satellite) are not as reliable or as fast as we would like – even though they are available. But the increase in speed and capacity of 4G LTE (and now 5G) networks opened up another option.

The traditional hurdles that have made this less than ideal solution (data caps, spend, bandwidth, coverage, compatible hardware) are gradually becoming less of a problem as technology improves, and it’s now very possible to switch completely from standard broadband to 4G LTE broadband – with a few caveats and conditions.

How 4G LTE Internet Works

Routers like the Netgear Orbi can bring 4G LTE into your home.

Photography: Netgear

The idea behind 4G LTE at home is quite simple: provide internet access to your home the same way your phone connects when not connected to Wi-Fi. If you’ve ever tried to connect your laptop to an access point connected from your phone, you know what is involved, as well as all the potential advantages (wireless internet access anywhere) and disadvantages (interference and bandwidth issues) .

However, using a 4G LTE home internet service is not quite the same as running a hotspot. Instead of having everything go through your phone, you set up a router to talk directly to the 4G LTE network, and then that router converts the signal to the conventional Wi-Fi we all know and love. You don’t need SIM cards for every gadget you connect because they just see your home Wi-Fi as normal.

We’ll explain some of the speeds you might get in the selection of plans we’ve outlined below, but the theoretical maximum transfer speed is around 1 Gbps for 4G LTE (and 10 times more than for 5G). In reality and outside of a lab, you won’t see this, but if you’re in the right area to get a good signal, a 4G LTE connection can make your existing home broadband seem like slow in comparison.

Latency – the speed at which your inputs reach the web and return a ping – can be an issue for some uses such as gaming, but like most other technologies, 4G LTE is improving. with time. Over the years, it also becomes cheaper, reaching more areas at faster speeds and becoming more viable for more people. Other restrictions like data caps are also starting to disappear in some cases, although it’s always worth keeping those caps in mind when comparing services. Traditionally, restrictions on data usage have been one of the main reasons not to switch to 4G LTE for home connectivity.

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Shadow activists in Iraq complicate US efforts to ease tensions

Few people inside or outside Iraq had heard of the “Blood Guardians” before militants claimed responsibility for firing a rocket barrage at the northern town of Erbil that targeted an Iraqi base housing American troops.

The attack, which killed a civilian contractor and injured a US soldier two weeks ago, sparked President Joe Biden’s first military act, as he ordered US fighter jets to launch strikes in Syria against Iranian-backed Iraqi militias last week.

It was a first test of how the Biden administration would respond to provocative activists, while also highlighting the challenges Washington faces as it seeks to re-engage with Iran on its nuclear deal and defuse it. the tensions that exploded during Donald Trump’s presidency.

A legacy of hostilities between the Trump administration and Iran is the emergence of more than a dozen shadowy “resistance” groups in Iraq, such as “the Blood Guardians,” which have stepped up attacks on personnel. and US assets over the past. year.

Analysts say this is a trend that accelerated after the Trump administration assassinated Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior Iraqi militia leader, during of an American drone strike near Baghdad airport in January 2020. The stated objective of many groups is to avenge the deaths of Soleimani and Muhandis – heroes of the Shiite militias.

The groups have added a new layer of militancy that creates a more unpredictable environment in a fragile nation that is home to 2,500 American troops and where American and Iranian rivalries take place. They threaten to be a complicating factor as Biden seeks to move away from Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran, reduce regional tensions and join the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

“This is the raison d’être of these [Iraqi] groups to drag the United States into conflict, ”said Sajad Jiyad, a Century Foundation member based in Baghdad.

Analysts suspect that Erbil’s attack was that Tehran was using its proxies to increase pressure on Washington before any further diplomacy, although the Pentagon said it had found no evidence that Iran had led the assault.

“People assume that Biden can come and completely change US policy in the region overnight, but he’s inherited a very hot conflict and there are very different things in motion,” said Renad Mansour, analyst. Iraqi at Chatham House, who published a report on the militias last week.

He added that the emergence of dark groups with opaque leadership makes it harder for the Biden administration to know who to engage with and complicates the Iraqi government’s hopes of pursuing meaningful security reform.

The picture is blurred by the fact that the “resistance” groups are seen as fronts for more established Iran-backed paramilitary forces that are deeply embedded in Iraq’s political and security structures, including the Organization. Badr, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah.

U.S. defense officials said last week’s airstrikes, which struck near an Iraqi border area controlled by Iran-aligned militias, targeted Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada – not the group that claimed responsibility for the Erbil attack.

Kata’ib Hezbollah – whom Trump blamed for a barrage of rockets against US forces in Iraq in December 2019 that prompted him to order Soleimani’s assassination – denied being involved. But US defense officials have said those claiming responsibility are “just front groups created to help deny attribution of established groups.”

The established movements have grown in strength since they and other militias were mobilized in 2014 to counter Isis’ advance. They capitalized on their role in the territorial defeat of the jihadists to strengthen their popular support and expand their political ambitions.

Protesters and militia fighters flee tear gas fired by US Embassy security during a demonstration to condemn airstrikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi, Baghdad, Iraq © Thaier al-Sudani / Reuters

On the security front, more than a dozen militias are placed under the auspices of Popular Mobilization Units, or Hashd al-Shaabi, a paramilitary force that numbers more than 100,000 people and has received a budget of 2.6 billion dollars from government last year.

Besides attacks on US interests, more obscure militant groups are accused of killing and intimidating peaceful protesters, activists and critics.

Michael Knights, a member of the Washington Institute, said establishing “fronts” was a strategy developed by Soleimani, who led the Iranian Quds Force, the overseas arm of the elite Revolutionary Guards. It gives establishment groups “plausible deniability” so as not to undermine their popular support.

“This is a very logical part of a strategy to undermine the Iraqi state while building these groups politically,” Knights said. “These people want to have Hashd’s payroll. . . but at the same time want to disobey the Iraqi chain of command and undertake terrorist attacks inside and outside Iraq.

The irony, Mansour said, was that Muhandis was striving to improve control and centralization of the militias before the Trump administration killed him.

“The murder of Muhandis has shaken the process of precarious centralization in Iraq,” he said. “While many have claimed that he was a major player in the Iraqi government’s crackdown on protesters in 2019 and therefore should be lifted, the strike, like the previous military action in the country, has failed. no longer succeeded in better protecting the demonstrators. . . or strengthen Washington’s interests to reduce Iranian influence.

He said he spoke to fighters from “vanguard” groups, such as Kata’ib Hezbollah, which lack a grassroots support base, who said they did not know who their leaders were.

The challenge for Washington, Mansour added, was “this revenge is going to take years.”

“These guys will not forget the murder of Muhandis.”

Additional reporting by Katrina Manson in Washington

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What is happening in Haiti, where the political crisis persists? | Human rights news

Haiti is in the throes of a political crisis.

Opposition leaders are challenging the tenure of President Jovenel Moise, whose tenure for most jurists and civil society groups ended on February 7. But the president and his supporters say his five-year term will not expire until 2022.

The situation has changed rapidly since Moise made clear He would not step down from the presidency this month, with government officials alleging that a failed coup had taken place. Nearly two dozen people were arrested, including a Supreme Court judge and a senior police official.

Protesters angry at the president’s refusal to step down met a repression in Port-au-Prince, the capital. Journalists were injured while covering the rallies. Anger and frustration continued to spill over into the streets.

How did Haiti get here – and where does it go from here?

The Constitution

Moise won a first round of elections in October 2015. But the vote was marred by widespread electoral fraud and the second round of the presidential elections was repeatedly postponed. A vote was held again in November 2016 and Moise won with 55.6% support. He officially took office on February 7, 2017.

Article 134-1 of the Haitian Constitution stipulates that “the duration of the presidential mandate is five years. This period begins and ends on February 7 following the date of the elections ”.

But article 134-2 stipulates that “in the event that the vote cannot take place before February 7, the elected president takes office immediately after the confirmation of the vote and his mandate should begin on February 7 of the year of the election ”.

The dispute is over whether Moise’s five-year term began in 2016 – after the first election he won – or in 2017, as the president and his supporters say.

In the absence of a constitutional council, Haitian jurists submit opinions.

In this case, the Haitian Bar Federation, the Superior Council of Judicial Power and the Quisqueya University have declared that Moise’s term ends in 2021. Several Haitian civil society groups and intellectuals also urged Moise to step down. this month, as the Episcopal Conference declared: “No one is above the laws and the Constitution”.

But in an address to the nation on Feb.7, Moise listed his administration’s accomplishments and said he had another year in his tenure. “Democracy works when we all agree to play by the rules of the game… Today marks the first day of my fifth year,” he said.

A power of consolidation

Haiti’s electoral council indefinitely postponed legislative elections in October 2019, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported, and Moise has been ruling by decree since January 2020, when the term of the legislature expired. “Moise blamed Parliament for the postponement, for failing to pass an electoral law, while his opponents accused him of maneuvering to hijack the process,” HRW said.

In one Tweeter On January 13 of last year, Moise announced the closure of the 50th legislature, claiming that the terms of all deputies in the lower house (Chamber of Deputies) were over, as were those of two-thirds of the Senate.

Translation: My administration received a 60-month constitutional mandate from the Haitian people. We have exhausted 48 [months]. The next 12 months will focus on reforming the energy sector, holding the referendum and organizing elections.

Moise recently issued decrees that effectively removed judges from the Supreme Court (Court of Cassation) in violation of the Constitution. He then appointed substitutes to the court, also without following constitutional guidelines, HRW said.

He has also formed an electoral council and an advisory committee to prepare a new constitution, for which he plans to hold a referendum on April 25. Moise said the current constitution “is one of the sources of the country’s social, economic and political crises. currently living ”.

As part of his reforms, Moise intends to eliminate the post of prime minister, a post he has supported gives too much power to someone who is not directly elected. Under the current constitution, the Haitian Prime Minister is accountable to Parliament and cannot be removed by the President.

Renald Luberice, secretary general of the council of ministers of Haiti, did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment. Guichard Dore, adviser to the president, also did not respond to a request for comment.

In one interview with Talk to Al JazeeraForeign Minister Claude Joseph said: “The Constitution makes it clear that the president’s term of office is five years; he took office in 2017 so he will be leaving in 2022 ”.

Joseph accused the opposition of using “violent” and “illegal” means to try to force Moses to resign. “They have to wait their turn. They must use peaceful means because we have no problem with the opposition, it is a democracy. What we reject is violence, ”he said.

Paralyzed country

Meanwhile, protesters continue to demand that Moses step down – thousands walked in Port-au-Prince on February 14, and other demonstrations are expected Sunday – as the opposition called for “continuous, renewed and permanent mobilization”.

“The opposition sees Moise as a de facto president. His term of office ended on February 7, 2021, ”former Senator Youri Latortue, one of the main opposition figures in Haiti, told Al Jazeera. “We are waiting for the United States to recognize the end of its mandate and that there will be an inevitable transition.”

US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters this month that Haiti must “hold free and fair elections so that Parliament can resume its rightful role” – but said Washington was to agreement with the Organization of American States for a new president to succeed Moise “when his term ends on February 7, 2022”.

A protester gestures near a barricade during a demonstration against Haitian President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, February 14, 2021 [Jeanty Junior Augustin/Reuters]

Latortue said the United Nations must say Moise’s tenure ended this month. He also accused the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) of having exceeded its mandate: “BINUH has never been mandated to support an unconstitutional referendum or to impose a new Haitian constitution,” he said. said.

On February 22, Helen La Lime, the head of BINUH, said that while many Haitians see the current charter as the source of many problems, the Haitian government’s process to change it is seen by many as illegitimate. “All Haitian sectors … should have ample opportunity to debate and contribute to the draft text,” she said.

In the midst of the political showdown, much of Haitian society has stalled: the education system has been crippled and businesses are operating at half speed. Associations representing the country’s judges have called for a work stoppage until Moise “respects the Constitutions and laws” of Haiti.

Earlier this month, Moise’s government said it had thwarted a coup attempt against the president. Yvickel Dieujuste Dabresil, judge of the Supreme Court, was arrested on the morning of February 7 for “attempted coup” and “conspiracy against the internal security of the State”. He was released three days later after international pressure.

A journalist gives first aid to an injured photojournalist during a demonstration to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on February 10, 2021 [Jean Marc Herve Abelard/EPA]

Police cracked down on protests and several protesters, as well as journalists, were injured.

“In almost all demonstrations, we count journalists as victims,” ​​said Jacques Desrosiers, secretary general of the Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH). “The frequency of attacks on journalists suggests that this is not collateral damage; we are convinced that the press is targeted. “

Gang violence

Haiti also faces widespread gang violence.

Pro-government and pro-opposition armed groups have sowed fear in neighborhoods they control, the Je Klere Foundation civil society group wrote in a report of June 2020. “In the popular districts, the elections are never really free”, one reads in the report. “In this context, where nearly a third of the national territory is controlled by gangs, their political weight in the next elections is clear.

Last February, the UN urged the Haitian government to end impunity for gang leaders, including former policeman Jimmy Cherizier, who now heads a gang alliance called G9. Cherizier was accused of being involved in a 2018 massacre in the La Saline district of Port-au-Prince.

The United States too sanctioned him in December, claiming that “Cherizier led armed gangs in a five-day attack in several neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince in which civilians were killed and houses burned” in May 2020.

Pierre Esperance, coordinator of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH), a Haitian human rights group, highlighted the large swathes of Haiti under the control of armed gangs and accused the government to lose control of the situation.

“This government is worse than that of the Duvalier,” said Esperance, referring to François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his son, Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who ruled Haiti from 1957 to 1986.

“The United States, Canada, the United Nations and the European Union approve of abuse of power. The people have the last word to thwart this dictatorship.

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