Haiti (MNN) — Haiti streets
continue to erupt in the aftermath of Tuesday's disputed election results.
The trigger was the announcement
that former first lady Mirlande Manigat and government technocrat Jude Celestin
would face a deciding second round in January. Thousands poured into the streets to express
their ire over what they believe to be a rigged presidential poll favoring
ruling government coalition.
The rain that quelled the first violent
outbreaks on Wednesday let up on Thursday, revealing the smoke that filled the
air throughout the cities. Ron Sparks with Baptist Haiti Mission says, "Our missionary
team is reporting that there are major disruptions, there are riots and
demonstrations, tire burnings, vehicle burnings, and rock barricades on many streets
and roads all over the country, so it really is pretty widespread."
No vehicles are allowed on the
streets. The political violence has
gotten so bad that some missionaries (For Haiti with Love) reported that even the
United Nations and the police are off the streets — a picture of the chaos and
fear teetering at the edge of anarchy.
In spite of UN efforts to keep
things calm, the unrest seems to show that stable leadership in Haiti is further
off in the future as the nation careens from disaster to disaster.
Worse yet, Sparks says, "The
bigger problem relates back to the cholera outbreak; many people are
still dying in the outlying provinces because it's difficult to get medical
help out there. Now with the roads being blocked and so forth in many places,
that problem is going to be compounded."
BHM cannot get medicine
to the outbreak zones; barricades
and flash riots mean that supply runs are exceedingly dangerous. "They've not been able to send drivers down,
which they routinely do almost every day to Petionville and to Port-au-Prince, to
pick up supplies and things that are needed for work at the mission compound." No
medicine in those compounds could exact a high price, either from those currently
infected or by the spread of disease, because disinfectants ran out and no new
supply was available.
Tensions are high, and people are
jittery. The mission campus is quiet today
because people can't get to the school, the hospital, or anywhere else safely. Sparks says, "Pray for the return of peace
and order so that the work of the Gospel can continue without hindrance. Secondly, pray for the teachers and hospital
staff as they're trying to get to their jobs. Third, we would ask for prayers for the
cholera situation that it would be brought under control and that treatment
would get to those who are sick."