Jamaica ready to send soldiers, police to quell Haiti chaos

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Jamaican prime minister said the government was ready to send soldiers and police to Haiti as part of a proposed multinational security assistance deployment.

The announcement said Haiti’s UN special envoy Helen La Lime said she hoped the UN Security Council would “aggressively” address pending international military demands from the Haitian government. It was done a week later. US and Canada show no interest.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said in the island’s House of Commons on Tuesday that he supported Haiti, saying, “We want to help restore the reasonable level of stability and peace needed for an inclusive and democratic process to take hold. ‘ said.

The announcement appears to be the first time a western hemisphere country has officially offered a ground boot after Haiti’s prime minister and other senior officials called for the immediate deployment of foreign troops in early October. . gang.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and La Lime backed Haiti’s plea to no avail.

The UN Security Council pondered Demanded but took no action, instead imposing sanctions on those including dominant gang leader Jimmy Cheridier, a former police officer accused of masterminding multiple massacres. selected.

“It is our impression that the international community has not yet grasped the urgency of the situation facing the Haitian people.

“Our country is going through one of the most difficult times in its history,” said Charles, OAS Permanent Representative for Haiti.

He likened the international help Haiti has received so far to a bucket of water to put out a raging fire. What the country needs is a fire engine with sturdy hoses. .

Holness, meanwhile, said Jamaica was ready to provide bilateral assistance if needed.

“It is our hope that, with the full support of the international community, Haiti will soon overcome its challenges and set out on a path towards restoration of stability, lasting peace and sustainable development of its land and people. A true hope.”

Malta’s ambassador to the United Nations and current Security Council president, Vanessa Frazier, told the council on Tuesday that she welcomed Jamaica’s declaration, adding that it had not yet received notification from other countries.

“We understand that multinational security forces are very important and needed on the ground to stabilize the situation in Haiti, so I hope they will,” she said.

Jamaica, a member of the regional trade bloc known as Caricom, last week urged “all stakeholders to come together and seek an agreement” to resolve what it called a lingering political stalemate in Haiti. issued a statement to We have arranged a conference in the Caribbean to discuss this issue.

When the ten remaining senators’ terms expired in early January, Haiti was stripped of all democratically elected institutions. Prime Minister Ariel Henry has held a general election he has promised to hold for more than a year, but no interim electoral commission has yet been elected, leading some critics to say it has led to a virtual dictatorship. ing.

Haiti is also suffering levels of violence not seen in decades since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in his home in July 2021. The ith gang is now believed to control 60% of the capital of Port-au-Prince.

The number of reported kidnappings surged to 1,359 last year, doubling from the previous year, and reported killings jumped by a third to 2,183, according to the United Nations.

“These are really chilling numbers,” said Charles. “The situation in Haiti is extremely urgent.”

With a population of more than 11 million, Haiti’s National Police are facing not only a surge in violence, but also deepening poverty, widespread hunger and a deadly cholera outbreak.


UN AP reporter Edith M. Lederer contributed.

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