Can't find what you're looking for? Try Google Search.

Haitians riot over prices, attack U.N. peacekeepers

Protesters angry over rising living costs rioted in the southwestern Haitian town of Les Cayes, burning shops, shooting at peacekeepers and looting containers in a U.N. compound, the United Nations said in a statement on Friday.

Les Cayes was still tense after the riots on Thursday, and the U.N. force trying to maintain the peace in the volatile Caribbean country sent 100 peacekeepers as reinforcements, the statement said.

Food prices in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, have soared in recent months, stoking anger against the government of President Rene Preval.

Preval's election in 2006 raised expectations that the country would finally start on the path to stability after decades of turbulence, culminating in the February 2004 ouster of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

A small group of protesters broke into the U.N. compound in Les Cayes during Thursday's protest, damaging the main gate and ignoring warning shots from peacekeepers, the statement said.

"The protesters also burned shops in Les Cayes and threw rocks and fired weapons at some of the blue helmets during the night."

Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the more prosperous Dominican Republic, has been relatively tranquil recently, although a resurgence in kidnappings and crime has alarmed the United Nations.

Just under 9,000 Brazilian-led U.N. peacekeepers and civilian police are stationed in Haiti.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week called on the international community and Haiti's leaders to keep up their efforts to bring stability to the country. "The potential for regression remains," he said in a report.

No comments: