Haiti marks 220th anniversary of political independence
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – Haiti is marking the 220th anniversary of its political independence from France on Monday with the international community expressing support for the French-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) country as it moves to restore peace and security.
In a congratulatory message, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) said Haitians should use the occasion to celebrate the resistance and courage of an entire people.
“The United Nations continues to stand with it for a more stable and prosperous future. 2024 will be a pivotal year for the stability of Haiti. Let us work together to lay the foundations for a return to security allowing daily life in peace and leading to the restoration of democratic institutions,” the BINUH said.
For its part, Canada expressed its continued support for Haiti, which it said “occupies an important place in the great family of the Francophonie of the Americas.”
“The building of the centre of the Francophonie of the Americas (Quebec, Canada), will be illuminated in the colours of the Haitian flag, throughout the month of January 2024. Other activities are planned to highlight the pride, resilience and creativity of the Haitian people,”it added.
At the same time, Nicaragua said that under the sign of regional solidarity, it is “reaffirming the union between the two peoples.”
“In the name of the people and the government of Reconciliation and National Unity of the Republic of Nicaragua, and on our own behalf, we join the Brotherly People of Haiti and their Government in commemorating the 220th Anniversary of his independence,” it stated.
Haiti has been plunged into socio-economic chaos since Moise’s assassination with criminal gangs frequently using rape to terrorise and extort victims, demand money and control food supplies
In addition, the opposition parties have been calling for fresh presidential and legislative elections, staging street protests in support of their demands.
The United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution allowing for a multi-national force led by Kenya to restore peace and security in the country at the request of Port au Prince.
In a statement, the Haitian National Police Union (SPNH-17) said in 2023, more than 41 police officers were killed, five disappeared, 23 police stations were looted, vandalised and controlled by thugs.
It said an estimated 2,000 police officers resigned, and cars and other police equipment were burnt and that more police officers had to separate from their families after the bandits attacked their homes.
The Consulate General of Haiti in New York said that the “flame of our pride as a people is constantly rekindled by the symbolism of January 1st, 1804, a date which reminds us at all times that we dared to be free through the bravery and the price of the blood of our ancestors who, thanks to the union, were able to generate the force necessary to create a sovereign state”
Former acting president of Haiti, Jocelerme Privert said “This January 1st brings back the commemoration of the 220th anniversary of the Independence of our dear Haiti, this land that our ancestors bequeathed to us as a heritage at the cost of great sacrifices.”
“I invite, on this occasion, all my compatriots to surpass themselves, to unite and to commit to the true transformation of Haiti into a democratic, stable, united, prosperous and competitive country. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Independence Day and a better 2024,” Privert added.
The former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Gary Bodeau urged Haitians to “return to the ideals of 1804”.