Haitian police announced on Friday evening that they had regained control of the country’s main oil facility, which had been under siege by armed gangs for months despite reports of ongoing clashes in the region.
The Haitian National Police said on Facebook: “The police carried out an operation from Wednesday to Thursday to allow the resumption of activities at the main oil facility, which was taken over by militants.”
She added that “several police units were deployed on armored vehicles to drive out gangs” from the Faro oil station, southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Armored vehicles and men in uniform can be seen in a video posted on the police Facebook page showing “operations leading to the release of the Faro facility”.
Despite regaining control of the facility, “the operation continues,” a police source told AFP late Friday.
Another source close to the site’s operating company added that “the clashes between the police and the gangs continue.”
The Faro facility supplies most of the petroleum products used in Haiti.
And gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Sherezer took control of it on September 12, knowing the gangs had infiltrated it earlier.
The blockade of the site effectively paralyzed the country and exacerbated the security, political and humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Caribbean country.
Fuel shortages have also interrupted the distribution of drinking water, a critical issue in the fight against the cholera outbreak, the latest test to hit Haiti.
The UN is negotiating the possibility of sending an international military force to establish calm at the request of the Haitian government.
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