Caribbean military chiefs, Heads of Government studying Haitian crisis

Last Updated on Wednesday, 8 February 2023, 16:23 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday said the Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force and other military chiefs across the Caribbean were assessing the worsening Haitian political crisis which is also on the agenda of regional leaders at their mid-term summit scheduled for next week in The Bahamas.

“I’m sure the Chief-of-Staff and other Chiefs-of-Staff in the region are already engaged on this matter of Haiti because the regional security architecture has already been advised to evaluate the situation,” he told the opening of the GDF Officers’ annual conference. Guyanese and other Caribbean soldiers have in the past served as United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti.

Jamaica, and The Bahamas have already pledged to join Caribbean multinational force to restore order in that country of more than 8 million people.

Dr Ali expressed confidence that he and other Caribbean leaders would discuss the situation in that former French colony that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. “In a few days, the leaders of the Caribbean Community will meet for an Inter-sessional meeting and Haiti is going to engage our attention,” he said.

Describing the situation in Haiti as one “turmoil”, President Ali advised the GDF Officers to  make “a major challenge like Haiti be part of your agenda.” “The Caribbean must not and cannot neglect Haiti at this time of need,” he said.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has already offered Haitian stakeholders to hold a meeting in a member country in a bid to find a solution to the volatile situation there.

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has in recent months called for miliary action in Haiti to bring an end to mayhem including the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021.

Canada has since deployed a plane loaded with high-tech electronic equipment to Haiti to assist in the disruption of communication among gang leaders and other perpetrators of violence.