Haiti asked the OAS for the support of an international force to be able to organize the general elections

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The country that is submerged in a deep political, economic and social crisis seeks to call general elections this year

Haiti asked the OAS for the support of an international force to be able to organize the general elections

File – A woman and her daughter run past a barricade erected by police in protest of poor police governance in Port-au-Prince (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph, File)

Haiti reiterated this Wednesday before the Organization of American States (OAS) that needs foreign forces to be sent to its territory to contain the violence and guarantee security in a possible electoral process.

“To reach elections, security is a fundamental condition (…) without the support of an international force on the ground, Haiti will not achieve the desired security,” said the Haitian ambassador to the OAS, Leon Charles, at a meeting of the Organization's Permanent Council , based in Washington.

Haiti is seeking to call general elections this year, despite being immersed in a deep political and security crisis.

The ambassador of Saint Lucia to the OAS, Elizabeth Darius, said The member states owe a “historic debt” to Haiti, as it was the first country in the region to achieve independence and whose example was followed by the rest of the territories.

“It is a debt that all the countries of the Caribbean and South America that obtained freedom from slavery and colonialism through the example of the Haitian people in 1804,” said the diplomat .

Haiti asked the OAS for the support of an international force to be able to organize the general elections

A view of Port-au-Prince (REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo)

The international community, Charles assured, has not yet understood the magnitude of the urgency that Haiti is going through and its government “has not received adequate support to help it to generate hope in the population.”

The OAS has yet to consider a resolution on Haiti that seeks to create a working group, made up of member countries of the organization, to maintain a dialogue with the Haitian Executive and find how to support it to guarantee “the elections and the transition to a new Government”.

Haiti has requested support from both the OAS and the UN to contain the violence in the country, exacerbated since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, in mid-2021.

The Haitian government has maintained that it needs the support of an international security force to stabilize the country, plagued by violence from gangs, which control 60% of the capital, according to UN estimates.

< p class="paragraph">Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said today that he is willing to send soldiers and police to Haiti, local media reported.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry signed a political agreement on December 21 with different political parties and civil society groups to reach free elections and a democratic transition.

The transition period, from 14 months long, it includes the holding of elections this year that will lead to a new government taking office on February 7, 2024.

Haiti lives in the midst of an acute crisis at all levels and a spiral of violence, to which is added the reappearance of cholera, which in four months has already caused more than 500 deaths in the country.

The crisis has caused an increase in Haitian migration, including through dangerous sea lanes to neighboring countries in the Caribbean and to the United States.

Last October, the government officially requested the sending a foreign force, after which the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, proposed establishing a “rapid action force” with soldiers from one or several countries and not under the United Nations flag, an initiative that has not yet been implemented. completed.

(With information from EFE)

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