Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Pressure is growing on Haiti for a political transition< /p>Open in full screen mode

Criminal gangs control most of the Haitian capital as well as the roads leading to the rest of the territory.

Agence France-Presse

Barely 48 hours after being announced, is the plan for a transition in Haiti under threat? Disagreements quickly emerged within the political parties supposed to agree on the composition of provisional authorities after the announcement of the resignation of the contested Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

A transitional presidential council must emerge to try to restore a semblance of stability in this poor Caribbean country undermined by gangs. But the leader of one of these armed bands threw a spanner in the works by assuring that he would continue the fight for the liberation of Haiti.

Monday, during an emergency meeting in Jamaica with the participation of Haitian representatives, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the UN and several countries such as the United States and France tasked Haitian formations to set up a transitional presidential council.

Just before the resignation of Ariel Henry, who was unable to return to his country and found himself stranded in Puerto Rico. Appointed a few days before the assassination, in 2021, of President Jovenel Moïse, he had been strongly contested for several months.

Haiti, where no elections has not taken place since 2016, is still without a head of state.

LoadingBudget: the PLQ sounds the alarm after warnings from the Moody's and DBRS agencies

ELSE ON INFO: Budget : the PLQ sounds the alarm after warnings from the Moody's and DBRS agenciesLoading in progressBudget : the PLQ sounds the alarm after warnings from the Moody's and DBRS agencies

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: Budget: the PLQ sounds the alarm after warnings from Moody's and DBRS agencies

The transitional presidential council must be made up of seven voting members who will represent the main political forces in Haiti and the private sector. Two observers without the right to vote must also represent the voice of civil society and the religious community.

Open in full screen mode

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned from office under the pressure of armed bands which paralyze the country. (File photo)

This group must quickly appoint an interim prime minister, according to CARICOM.

The US State Department indicated Tuesday that the council must be formed within 24 to 48 hours.

The negotiations, however, appear arduous and most of the parties contacted by AFP indicate that they are still in talks.< /p>

If the EDE/RED/Historical Compromise grouping, a formation close to assassinated President Jovenel Moïse, has already submitted its representative to CARICOM (former minister Marie Ghislaine Mompremier), members of the Collectif du December 21 – Ariel Henry's group – disagree over the choice of their representative.

None of this is easy. None of this is going to happen from one day to the next, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. But at least there is a plan, a process in place to get there.

Gangs control swaths of the country, including 80% of the capital Port-au-Prince. Their violence – murders, rapes, kidnappings for ransom, looting – has spread to rural areas previously considered safe, the UN said in November.

Kenya was to deploy a thousand police officers to the country as part of an international mission supported by the UN, but announced that it was suspending this dispatch given the situation. Its president, however, assured that this deployment would take place once a presidential council was installed.

Open in full screen mode

In October, the Security Council gave the green light to send a force Kenyan-led multinational. (File photo)

Obviously, the political situation remains a little unclear, acknowledged the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Stéphane Dujarric, urging an agreement on this council as quickly as possible.

What we are asking is that the international community supports the creation of this support mission as quickly as possible, he added. I don't think it's fair to place the future of Haiti, the security of Haiti solely on the shoulders of Kenya.

Gangs are a priori excluded from the transition in preparation, but because of their firepower, they risk de facto influence.

In recent years they have become very powerful. They penetrated deep into communities. They recruited a lot of young people, they exploited the desperation of young people and they don't want to disappear, says Ivan Briscoe, of the International Crisis Group.

In an interview with Colombian radio W, gang leader Jimmy Chérizier aka Barbecue said that Ariel Henry's resignation didn't matter to him.

I saw CARICOM countries deciding for the Haitian people […]. We will continue the fight for the liberation of Haiti, he said.

Open in full screen mode

Former police officer Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier (center), leader of the gang alliance “ G9,” is considered the most powerful gang leader in Haiti. (Archive photo)

Now that Ariel Henry is leaving, perhaps they will turn to the national interest and leave aside the interests of their parties for a while, until the elections. But there are obviously concerns about their ability to agree, he argued.

In the meantime, in Port-au-Prince, scene of an outbreak of violence in recent weeks, commercial activities resumed on Wednesday, according to an AFP correspondent.

Public transport vehicles were visible in the streets and some public administration offices reopened their doors after more than two weeks of closure. However, schools remain closed, as does the international airport.

The United States announced that it had sent a team of its soldiers to protect their embassy.

The UN, following in the footsteps of many Western embassies, announced on Wednesday that it was withdrawing its non-essential staff from the country. She also indicated that an air bridge between Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic would be set up to allow the flow of humanitarian aid to the country in crisis.

By admin

Related Post