The United States restarts deportation flights to Haiti with 52 immigrants

A total of 40 men and 12 women landed on Thursday at Cap-Haïtien International Airport, located in the country's second-largest city.

(AFP) Over 50 Haitian nationals who were in the United States illegally were deported by U.S. authorities Thursday back to their country, which is plagued by gang violence, a Haitian immigration official told AFP.

A total of 40 men and 12 women landed Thursday at the international airport in Cap-Haïtien, the country's second-largest city, the official said.

At the end of March, more than 480 human rights organizations requested a moratorium on deportations to the Republic of Haiti in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

"Today, in the absence of a functioning state, armed groups terrorize the population with systematic rape, indiscriminate kidnapping, and mass killing, all with impunity," they stressed.

The United States, the European Union and the U.N. evacuated many of their staff in March due to the instability in Haiti. The nine members of the Presidential Transition Council in Haiti were appointed on Tuesday by official decree.

This council must ensure a transition after disputed Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who agreed to resign in March, effectively leaves office, paving the way for a presidential election. Henry has been out of the country for several weeks.

Without a president or parliament, Haiti has not had elections since 2016. An estimated 80% of the capital of Port-au-Prince is under the control of criminal gangs, accused of numerous abuses, in particular murder, rape, looting, kidnapping and extortion.