Haiti PM would welcome multinational task force

Port au Prince – Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry says he hopes the international community will agree to a request for a multinational support force to assist the Haitian National Police (PNH) restore peace and security in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

Addressing the end of year meeting with heads of diplomatic missions, representatives of international organizations, the dean and members of the consular corps here, Henry, said he wanted to thank the UN Secretary General, Antonia Guterres “for relaying to the Security Council our request for assistance from a specialised force to accompany our National Police.

“We hope that in the near future, this multinational support force for the PNH can be at work. We appreciate the support of the international community, which has confirmed its commitment to guide us in the search for a lasting solution to the crisis by taking the initiative to sanction those who support armed gangs and engage in illicit trafficking of all kinds,” he told the meeting.

Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says while he does not rule out the possibility of his country being part of a military intervention, or even leading one in Haiti, he also wants European countries to join the North American country in sanctioning the elites in Haiti over alleged ties to the violent gangs.

Speaking during a year-end interview with The Canadian Press, Prime Minister Trudeau noted however that Canada would seek to avoid some of its past mistakes as it responds to a request from Haiti’s Prime Minister Henry for a foreign military intervention.

Trudeau said Canada hasn’t closed the door on being part of a military intervention, or even leading one, adding “we haven’t taken anything off the table, but with 30 years of experience in Haiti, we know very well that there are enormous challenges when it comes to any intervention.

“It’s clear that our approach must change this time, and that’s why (there are) the sanctions we’ve placed.”

Haiti has been plunged into chaos with criminal gangs involved in kidnappings for ransom and opposition political parties staging street demonstrations calling for the government of Prime Minister Henry to step down. The opposition parties have also been calling for fresh presidential and legislative elections.

Henry, who took over the leadership of the country following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 7 last year, has urged the international community to send in troops to assist in maintaining law and order.

He has condemned persons whom he said want to acquire political power in the country without first seeking a mandate from the population and had vowed that the country will be in election mode before the end of 2022, which is now unlikely to occur. (CMC)

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