Port au Prince – Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry appealed for “calm and reconciliation” on Tuesday in Haiti.
The French-speaking Caricom country continues to be plagued by acts of violence, crime, murders, and kidnappings, as well as protest by opposition forces calling for his removal.
In a statement marking “Jour de Dessalines”, which commemorates the life of Jean-Jacques Dessalines on the anniversary of his assassination in 1806, Henry again appealed for calm in the country.
“I bow to the prowess of Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines, an immortal hero who changed the course of the history of the black race,” Henry said of Dessalines, who joined Toussaint Louverture in the Haitian Revolution against French rule in 1791 that is regarded as the largest and most successful slave rebellion in the western hemisphere.
The Haitian prime minister described Dessalines as an “intrepid soldier, imperturbable Head of State, shrewd strategist”, adding “we will always remember this genius, imbued with the ideals of freedom, fraternity and greatness, who transformed a colony populated by slaves into the first independent black Republic in the world”.
“While brandishing our motto ‘Unity is strength’, I take advantage of this day to launch a solemn appeal for calm and reconciliation for our nation, which is divided today,” Henry said. “Let’s put aside our differences so that together, hand in hand, we can change our destiny.”
On Monday, Caricom and the United States also appealed for peace and stability with the regional integration movement stating it was “gravely concerned” by the continuing deterioration of the security situation and the social circumstances in Haiti.