Canada sends delegation to Haiti to ‘assess’ security crisis | Politics News | Techno Glob

Canada has sent a team to Haiti to assess the country’s deteriorating security situation as Canada’s foreign minister meets with her US counterpart in Ottawa to discuss a Washington-led proposal to send international troops to the Caribbean nation.

In a statement Thursday, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs said a government delegation was in Haiti “to consult with stakeholders on options to support the Haitian people in addressing the humanitarian and security crisis.”

The delegation is also considering “how Canada can contribute to the international response” in Haiti, the ministry added, in what was dubbed an “assessment mission.”

“Canada and the international community are concerned about violence in Haiti, particularly against women and girls. Canada will not stand idly by while gangs and their supporters continue to terrorize Haitians, and we will continue to support law-abiding Haitians to end the crisis in their country,” said Foreign Minister Melanie Joly. The statement said.

The announcement came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his first official visit to Canada to hold talks with Jolly and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Haiti, which has seen increasing gang violence and political instability since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July last year, was a major topic of discussion during Blinken’s visits to Ottawa and Montreal this week.

“The situation [in Haiti] It’s just not sustainable,” Blinken said at a press conference with Jolie on Thursday afternoon. “We will continue to work together to garner international support to help Haitians find a way forward,” he said.

Earlier this month, Haiti’s acting prime minister, Ariel Henry, asked the international community to help establish a “special armed force” to stem the violence.

An ongoing gang blockade of a major petrol terminal in the capital Port-au-Prince has led to acute shortages of fuel and water, while violence is widespread. Power shortages have forced hospitals to cut services, also complicating the response to a new outbreak of cholera.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this month that he believed “armed action” was needed to loosen gangs’ grip on fuel terminals and create humanitarian corridors for supplies. Guterres also called on the international community to urgently respond to Henry’s plea for help.

But many Haitian protesters and civil society leaders have rejected the possibility of international intervention, saying history has shown that foreign powers bring “more problems than solutions.”

Some Haitians also say Henry lacks legitimacy and have called for him to step down. Moises was chosen by the prime minister to take over the post shortly before the president was assassinated last year, and Henry is backed by the CORE group, which includes Canada and the US.

Last week, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution establishing a “sanctions regime” against Haitian gang leaders, including Jimmy “Barbecue” Charizier and his supporters.

The initiative, led by the US and Mexico, comes in response to Haitians’ “calls for action against criminal actors, including gangs and their financiers, who are destabilizing their vibrant societies and fueling poverty”, the US-led UN said. Envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

‘International Security Mission’

The US and Mexico, meanwhile, are working on another resolution to establish “a non-UN, international security assistance mission” in Haiti to respond to the crisis. Thomas-Greenfield said in mid-October that the mission would be led by “partner countries,” without elaborating.

Earlier this week, the Miami Herald newspaper, citing unnamed sources, reported that “the draft resolution is on the verge of failure with no country contributing troops”.

But that was disputed by Brian Nichols, the US assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, who told reporters during a briefing on Wednesday that he was “very optimistic” that the countries would be able to come together.

“I strongly disagree with the idea that a resolution authorizing a multinational force is in jeopardy,” he said, as reported by the AFP news agency. Nicholls added that “several countries” have the potential to lead the mission, but no decision has yet been made.

“Canada is among those countries, but not the only country that can do this,” he said.

Asked Thursday if Ottawa was ready to lead the proposed mission, Foreign Minister Joly did not give a direct answer. Instead, she emphasized that the Canadian government will continue to support Haiti as it faces security, humanitarian and political crises.

For his part, Blinken said he and Jolie have discussed what such an international force would look like and what it would require. “And we’re both talking to various countries to gauge their interest and willingness to participate,” the US secretary of state told reporters.

“The purpose of any such operation would be to help the Haitian National Police in their work,” he said, “to make sure that the state is once again really in control of the country, not the gangs that are one of the biggest problems right now. We’re actually going to be able to step up and help Haiti.” .

Canada and the US announced on October 15 that they had sent Haiti security equipment the country had already purchased, “including unique and armored vehicles,” in an effort to bolster the Haitian police force.

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