Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

« The stars begin to rise’ align » in Haiti

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Gang violence and political instability have plunged the country into a triple humanitarian, security and democratic crisis.

  • Valérie Gamache (View profile)Valérie Gamache

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The impatience shown by Canada and the leaders of Caribbean countries towards the prime minister designate of Haiti , Ariel Henry, is starting to bear fruit, believes André François Giroux, the new Canadian ambassador to Port-au-Prince.

I think we can say with a certain pride that the message was well received and heard, he said in an interview with Radio-Canada.

It has been more than two years since the country was plunged into a triple humanitarian, security and democratic crisis, following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Since then, the government of Ariel Henry has taken over as interim head of the country, whose capital is 80% controlled by criminal gangs.

Canada continues to advocate for a solution by and for the Haitians. To achieve this, Prime Minister Trudeau took advantage of the Haitian leader's visit to Ottawa, during a meeting of the Caribbean community (CARICOM), last October, to reiterate the importance of a road map. leading to democratic elections.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Ariel Henry in October last, in Ottawa. (File photo)

Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Mélanie Joly gave him very frank messages about the need to reach out, to open up to an inclusive political dialogue. /p>A quote from André François Giroux, Canadian Ambassador to Haiti

These messages did not arrive alone: ​​the UN adopted a resolution for the creation of a multinational force, led by Kenya, which will be sent there. The stars are starting to align, with this coming force, says Ambassador Giroux. The mandate of this force must be determined with the Haitian authorities. The time is right for an agreement, he notes.

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André François Giroux is the new Canadian ambassador to Port-au-Prince.

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It creates momentum at the political level so that the driving forces can get along.

A quote from André François Giroux, Canadian ambassador to Haiti

This multinational security support mission will be in place for an initial period of one year and its budget, funded by UN member countries, is being evaluated to $600 million.

However, the first police officers may be slow to arrive. The mission is far from unanimous in Kenya. Although Kenyan MPs gave the green light to send up to 1,000 police officers this week, their deployment is being challenged in court, and the Nairobi Supreme Court is due to rule on the constitutionality of the force on January 26 next.

Canadian participation in this Kenyan-led mission remains to be defined, but Canada has said it is ready to do more to help Haiti. Until then, the ambassador recalls that the $100 million announced by the Canadian government to support the Haitian National Police (PNH) will lay the foundations for the work that will be carried out by the multinational force, when it is deployed.

For the moment, however, it is impossible to predict the number of Canadian police officers who will participate in these training courses. We have not finalized the plans, but we are talking about fairly large groups, explains André François Giroux.

Discussions are progressing well behind closed doors, assures the ambassador who arrived in Port-au-Prince a little less than two months ago. André-François Giroux is confident. I am an optimist, I am arriving at a moment where I hope that things will start to improve, says the ambassador.

  • Valérie Gamache (View profile)Valérie GamacheFollow

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