World Tour: Protests in Haiti and Iraq

NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with our Africa correspondent Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Protests in Haiti—We start today in the Caribbean.

AUDIO: [Sound of protestors in Haiti]

Church leaders in Haiti are calling on Christians to pray amid ongoing political unrest. Anti-government protests have crippled the island nation for weeks.

Thousands of people crowded the streets of Port-au-Prince, blocking roads with mounds of burning tires. Protesters have also looted shops and banks.

At least 17 people have died and nearly 200 suffered injuries.

The protesters are calling on President Jovenel Moïse to step down amid accusations of corruption. They are also angry about fuel shortages and a lack of basic services. But the United Nations says protests are only making those problems worse. The agency says 2.5 million people were already vulnerable to food shortages before the protests.

Iraq admits excessive force—Next to the Middle East.

AUDIO: [Protesters flood Iraq streets]

The Iraqi military admitted on Tuesday that it used excessive force to break up protests in Baghdad. More than 100 people have died since the unrest began a week ago. Thousands of others have been injured.

AUDIO: [Iraqi President Barham Saleh]

On Monday, Iraq’s president called for an end to the escalating violence. Just a day earlier, an Interior Ministry spokesman denied claims that security forces had attacked protesters. He blamed “malicious hands” for targeting both sides.

But international condemnation of the government response has grown. On Saturday, the United Nations insisted the violence must stop.

The protests started over chronic unemployment and a lack of public services. Protesters are now demanding a change of government.

Paris police attack motivated by radical Islam—Next we go to Europe.

AUDIO: [Jean-François Ricard]

The man who killed four members of the Paris police department last week adhered to a radical version of Islam. Anti-terror prosecutor Jean-François Ricard made that announcement on Saturday.

The 45-year-old attacker also worked for the police department. Witnesses said Mickael Harpon went into a frenzy on Thursday. Officers shot and killed him about 30 minutes after the attack began.

Harpon converted to Islam about 10 years ago. He worked in a division of the police department that collected information on jihadist radicalization. But officials said he had become increasingly radicalized himself in recent years.

Bid for peace in Cameroon—And finally, we end today here in Africa.

AUDIO: [Kamto supporters]

Supporters of Cameroon’s main opposition leader celebrated on Saturday as he walked out of a government prison. Maurice Kamto had been jailed for nine months.

President Paul Biya ordered Kamto’s release in a bid to bolster peace talks with separatists in the country’s English-speaking regions. The main separatist leaders have so far refused to participate in peace talks. They want more autonomy and eventual independence from Cameroon’s French-speaking majority.

AUDIO: [Man speaking French]

The government released about 300 other activists along with Kamto. While celebrating his freedom, this man said he would keep fighting—even if it meant going back to jail.

That’s this week’s World Tour. For WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.

(AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) Protesters scatter as shots are fired during a protest against fuel shortages and demanding the resignation of president Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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