PORT AU PRINCE (CMC) – Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry has urged Haitians to put aside their differences and in the spirit of the Battle of Vertière come together to ensure the future socio-economic development of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) country.
In a pre-recorded message marking the 220th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Vertières. Henry, who came to office following the July 7, 2021 assassination of then President Jovenel Moise, said Haitians should commemorate the occasion “because it is our pride, because it is our duty.
“There is a lot of noise, a lot of discussion. It’s normal. We are like that. There are many diversions, what many of our compatriots call ‘playing politics,” he said, noting that many Haitians “do not speak out to be heard, but they understand that we are at a crossroads where we must make the best choices for tomorrow, so that Haitians can imagine their life in Haiti, in their country.
“We fought the Battle of Vertières on November 18, 1803, proclaimed our independence in 1804, we can still win wars for the present and the future. We must rediscover the unity that led to these victories. The same formula will still lead us to victory.”
Henry said that Haiti today is “rebuilding a national defense force, because the Haitian army needs to renew itself and give itself new missions adapted to the current era and the modern challenges of defending the territory and particularly against increased natural threats which tend to increase significantly with climate change.
”Treating Haiti means working for the restoration of democratic institutions and the rule of law, because it is our choice as Haitians, and because it is high time to give voice to the sovereign people again. and let the ballot boxes speak,” Henry said.
Last week, the parliament in Kenya approved a motion to send 1,000 police officers to the troubled CARICOM country at the head of an international multi-national military force as the security situation continues to deteriorate.
In October, the 15-member United Nations Security Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of sending a Kenya-led multi-national force to Haiti with Russia and China abstaining, citing fears over Haiti’s troubled history with foreign involvement.
The UN Security Council also authorised the renewal for one year, the sanctions regime on Haiti, continuing a targeted arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze established in October last year to address the widespread violence, criminal activity and human rights abuses plaguing the country.
It said elections are crucial for the sustainable rule of law.
Presidential elections were held in Haiti on 20 November 2016 after having been postponed several times. Moise served as the country’s 43rd President from 2017 until his assassination in 2021.