WASHINGTON, (CMC) –A former United States ambassador to Haiti says it is time to stop pretending that ‘normal’ diplomacy will work in Haiti.
Speaking on the theme “Haiti at the Crossroads: Civil Society Responses for a Haitian-led Solution,” former diplomat, Pamela A White, who served the nation from 1982-85, told the House Committee on Foreign Relations that while she had seen corruption and gang warfare, hundreds of burning tyres, demonstrations in the streets and violence against innocent civilians, but she has never seen anything like the total breakdown of civility that is the current situation in Haiti in the country.
“As everyone knows who cares about the Haitian people, Haiti is a failed state,” she said.
“There is no legitimate government, no judiciary, no parliament, and a weak police force incapable of stopping the gangs that now rule over 60 per cent of the capital.”
“There is no chance of planning elections under the current security crisis. There is absolutely zero doubt that Haitians are living in hellish conditions,” she added.
She also noted that the nation’s social security services were terminated months ago.
The former diplomat said that Port au Prince, the Haitian capital, has the highest number of kidnappings in the world.
In addition to that, she cited that even desperately needed humanitarian aid is under siege with gangs hijacking boats, planes and trucks that are attempting to deliver critical food and medical items to the most vulnerable.
She argued that the problem is underscored by the lack of members and resources at the disposal of the Haitian National Police. Subsequently, the police force can carry out fewer operations in the country than criminals.
“There are weekly beatings and body burnings. Children in orphanages are terrorized with bullets zooming over their heads with no care as to their safety,” she said.
“The Haitian police have fewer weapons, fewer members, and a lot less money with which to carry out operations than gangs do,” she added.
White added that the United Nations, Spain, France, Canada, and many other countries, have ordered an evacuation of all essential staff.