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In Haiti, the establishment of transitional authorities still at an impasse

Photo: Clarens Siffroy Agence France-Presse On Friday, an uneasy calm reigned in the capital after a day marked by several attacks by armed men and a police operation which led to the death of a gang leader. In the photo, a woman walks past a police officer who is standing guard in Port-au-Prince.

Jean Daniel Senat – Agence France-Presse and Inès Bel Aiba – Agence France-Presse respectively in Port-au-Prince and Washington

6:30 p.m.

  • Americas

Chaotic negotiations and a new withdrawal among candidates: the establishment of transitional authorities in Haiti remains blocked Tuesday, while the population continues to suffer from gang violence.

Highly contested, Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced on March 11 that he agreed to leave power, and that his resignation would be effective once a “presidential transitional council” was installed.

But this body, which should represent the main Haitian political forces, as well as the private sector, civil society and the religious community, is struggling to see the light of day.

Monday evening, its future members, several of whom were chosen with great difficulty, had to elect the person who, among them, would chair the council.

But the meeting was postponed sine die despite prior agreement on the agenda, several representatives having withdrawn, one of the members told AFP under cover of anonymity.

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“Blocked country”

Leslie Voltaire, the representative of the Fanmi Lavalas party, notably estimated in a correspondence addressed to his colleagues that electing a president was not possible without a “political agreement signed between the different sectors”.

And while the council finally seemed complete, René Jean Jumeau, one of the two observer members – therefore not benefiting from the right to vote to choose the future interim prime minister – threw the 'sponge.

“The need for concrete action is too strong to remain, helpless, in the posture of a spectator,” argued in a letter the one who in recent days demanded a right to vote within the structure.

The presidential transitional council was announced on March 11 after meetings between Haitian representatives and those of several countries and organizations including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

For Gédéon Jean, who participated in these meetings on behalf of civil society, it is time for the international community to “return to service” to “push the Haitian actors” to an agreement.< /p>

Otherwise, the training of transitional authorities risks taking “months and months”, the director of the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights (CARDH) told AFP. , a Haitian NGO.

“We cannot leave a country blocked [in this way], and the actors really cannot get along,” he insists.


In the meantime, the population continues to pay a high price for instability.

The head of UNICEF, Catherine Russell, warned that “countless children” risk losing their lives due to the multidimensional crisis ravaging Haiti, “while vital aid is ready for distribution if the violence stops and roads and hospitals reopen.”

The shooting stopped Tuesday in Port-au-Prince, but the previous evening, according to the testimonies of three residents, gang members looted and burned pharmacies, clinics and residences near the university hospital of State of Haiti. This establishment, the largest public hospital, is inoperable due to gangs.

Shops were open in the capital and activities were continuing as usual. But helicopters were crisscrossing the sky as several countries organized the repatriation of their nationals.

Kenya was to send a thousand police officers to Haiti as part of a UN-backed mission, but announced that it was suspending the deployment in view of the situation.

For Gédéon Jean, ensuring safety is the priority.

However, since the Kenyan mission “is not for tomorrow” and the police “do not have the material, human, technological means […] to confront the gangs”, it is necessary, according to him , think of an “intermediate force”.

The latter could be set up by countries in the region, he asserts, to “intervene, strengthen the Haitian national police, stop the progression of gangs”. It would be a matter of stabilizing the situation “while waiting for the [Kenyan] force to arrive, it is the only way to move towards the elections”, he judges.

On Tuesday, the White House announced that President Joe Biden had approved up to $10 million in aid to help Haitian security forces “protect civilians and vital infrastructure from gang attacks.”

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116