GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – The Caribbean Community (Caricom) on Monday said it is “gravely concerned” by the continuing deterioration of the security situation and the social circumstances in Haiti.
“The continued breakdown in law and order, and its distressing effect on the people of Haiti, is intensifying. The fraught situation is exacerbated by the inability of the Haitian security forces to address the ongoing violence,” the 15-member regional integration grouping said in a statement.
It said that the unrest is having a negative impact on the already weak economy leading to even more mass demonstrations, “especially the worsening social conditions and the limited availability of food require urgent and immediate attention from the international community.
“This persistently distressing situation is untenable, and Caricom calls for all stakeholders to engage meaningfully with the aim to find a way forward and to put country first and address the situation urgently.”
The regional grouping said that following discussions in the past weeks, it “remains available to assist and work with international partners to mobilize financial and technical resources to facilitate a process towards normalisation and ultimately the holding of free, fair and credible general elections”.
Last month, Caricom leaders who were in Trinidad and Tobago for the second regional Agri-Investment and Forum Expo11, held a special meeting on the situation in Haiti where crime and political instability are seriously affecting the socio-economic development of the French-speaking country.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, told the Caribbean Media Corporation then that the meeting provided the regional leaders with an opportunity to discuss and update the Haitian Prime Minister, Dr Ariel Henry, on the decisions taken during the Caricom summit in Suriname in July.
Gonsalves said that the while a decision had been taken for a Caricom-led technical mission to visit Port au Prince for talks with all the stakeholders there, not date as yet been finalised and that plans are also being formulated for a meeting to be held in The Bahamas that would follow the technical mission’s visit.
The meeting in Nassau is expected to be attended by the stakeholders from Haiti, the African Union, Francophone countries, as well as the Community for Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of American States, among others, Gonsalves added.
Criminal and political activities have increased on the island ever since President Jovenel Moise was assassinated at his private residence on July 7 last year. People have taken to the streets demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry as well as calling for lower prices and urging the authorities to deal with the number of kidnappings for ransom and rival gang warfare.