Canada, the United States and its allies talk about helping Haiti in a virtual meeting



Haiti’s growing insecurity and growing concern over its ability to hold general elections following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse have brought two dozen senior international officials together amid an urgent need for action.

“The escalation of violence is only exacerbating the already precarious humanitarian situation,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before the meeting, which was held behind closed doors. “We must work together to restore stability and protect the security and well-being of the Haitian people.”

Representatives from 19 countries took part, including Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“To address insecurity, the partners agreed to strengthen their current and future support for the security sector, including the Haitian National Police, with a focus on respect for the rule of law, justice and the rule of law. human rights, “said the Canadian Foreign Office. Minister Mélanie Joly said in a statement after the meeting.

Joly said all stakeholders in Haiti must work together and “that without this agreement, restoring security will continue to be a challenge as well as holding free and credible elections.”

Henry, Haiti’s prime minister, has said he expects an interim electoral council to be set up in the coming days and has promised to hold elections this year, although he has not set a date. He thanked the international community for helping Haiti during “especially difficult times” and noted that violence is severely disrupting daily life and isolating several cities and towns in the southern part of the country, cutting off much-needed aid.

“There is an urgent need to address these issues and find lasting solutions,” he tweeted during the meeting. “I am convinced that the root of this situation lies mainly in the abject poverty in which a significant part of our population lives.”

Haiti is a country of 11 million people where about 60% earn less than $ 2 a day, and is facing a deepening economic crisis, with rising inflation and an estimated 4, 4 million people are at risk of starvation. He is also struggling to recover from the July 7 assassination of Moses at his private residence and a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last August that killed more than 2,200 people. and destroyed or damaged some 137,500 homes.

The assassination of Moses complicated an already fragile political situation in Haiti.

He has been ruling by decree for more than a year after dissolving a majority in parliament in January 2020 amid a delay in the forthcoming legislative elections, with only 10 senators currently in power.

Opponents, meanwhile, said that Moses’ term should have ended in February 2021, while insisting that it should continue until February 7 this year, the fifth anniversary of his inauguration. which had been delayed by controversy over his election.

Some worry that Haiti’s instability will intensify in early February when the assassinated president’s term expires. Shortly before his death, Moses had selected Henry to serve as Prime Minister, and many observers believe that Henry’s term should also end on February 7, although he is not expected to step down. this date.

An official who attended the meeting said there was no discussion about a possible foreign intervention or about the confidence ministers might have in Henry’s ability to govern.

Many parts of Haitian civil society are calling for agreements that allow for a consensual leadership of the country while waiting to renew its institutions through elections, although several factions differ on what the agreement should contain.

Jean Victor Généus, Haiti’s foreign minister, met with journalists in Haiti after the meeting and praised the international community’s offers of help, saying a stabilized Haiti would also attract investors.


Associated Press reporter Evens Sanon in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, contributed.

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