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UN warns of ‘violent chaos’ in Haiti over aid delays

The UN has warned that Haiti is sinking into potential violent chaos as people grow frustrated at the slow pace of aid getting through.

Most victims are still living outside in squalid tents of sheets and sticks and aid officials acknowledge they have not yet got food to most of those in need.

Mobs have stolen food and looted goods from their neighbours in the camps, prompting many to band together or stay awake at night to prevent raids.

About 20 armed men blockaded a street on Saturday and attacked a convoy carrying food from the airport in Jeremie. UN and Haitian officers fired warning gunshots and the men fled.

Haitian police have increased their own patrols and are accompanying UN police guarding aid distribution.

While Haitians are still mourning friends and relatives, many still unburied, anger at the government's sluggish response to the quake is feeding political resentment.

Hundreds gathered on Monday at a gravel pit in Titanyen where countless earthquake victims have been dumped, turning a remembrance ceremony for the dead into one of the first organised political rallies since the disaster.

Many denounced President Rene Preval and called for the return of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Critics were already blaming Mr Preval for rising unemployment, corruption and greed. Then the earthquake struck, flattening most government buildings and turning the capital into an apocalyptic vision of broken concrete and twisted steel.

He has rarely been seen in public since, leaving his ministers to defend his performance and discontent with him appears to be growing.

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