U.S. military arrive to strengthen security at the embassy in Haiti and remove non-essential personnel

The U.S. military announced on Sunday that it has deployed additional forces to strengthen security at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti and facilitate the departure of nonessential personnel.

The U.S. Southern Command stated that the aircraft was flown to the embassy compound, indicating the use of helicopters. In an effort to dispel any rumors, they made it clear that no Haitians were on board the military aircraft. This statement was likely made to address any concerns about senior government officials potentially leaving amidst the escalating gang attacks in Haiti.

Gangs largely control the neighborhood surrounding the embassy in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

According to a statement from Southcom, the personnel airlifted into and out of the Embassy is in line with their standard practice for enhancing Embassy security globally. It should be noted that no Haitians were present on the military aircraft.

Nonessential personnel, which can sometimes include the families of diplomats, were already ordered to depart from the embassy in July. The individuals who were ferried out of the embassy may have been rotating out, making way for new staff members to come in and take their place.

The United States is still prioritizing its support for the Haitian police and the establishment of a U.N.-authorized security deployment, as stated in the recent announcement. However, these endeavors have not yielded the desired outcomes thus far.

Haiti’s prime minister, Ariel Henry, recently visited Kenya in an effort to advocate for the deployment of a police force from the East African nation to combat the gangs with the support of the United Nations. However, in January, a Kenyan court declared that such a deployment would be unconstitutional.

Read More:  Dad Turns in Teen Gaza Protester Who Allegedly Vandalized WWI Memorial: Report

Henry, who is under pressure to step down or establish a transitional council, is still unable to go back to his home country. After being unable to land in the Dominican Republic, which shares a border with Haiti, he arrived in Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

The office of Dominican President Luis Abinader has released a statement on Saturday, stating that Henry is not permitted to enter the Dominican Republic due to safety concerns. The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, has taken the measure of closing its land border.

According to the statement, the Haitian prime minister’s presence in the Dominican Republic is not considered appropriate given the current situation. The Dominican government is taking a firm stance to protect its national security and stability.

The security situation in Haiti is described as “totally unsustainable” and poses a direct threat to the safety and stability of the Dominican Republic.

“The situation could worsen significantly if immediate action is not taken to deploy a peacekeeping force and restore order,” warned the statement.

Caribbean leaders have organized an urgent meeting in Jamaica to address the critical situation in Haiti. They have extended invitations to the United States, France, Canada, the United Nations, and Brazil to participate in this significant gathering.

Caricom regional trade bloc members have been making efforts for several months to persuade political actors in Haiti to come together and establish a unified transitional government.

According to Caricom, regional leaders are actively involved in the efforts to establish a unity government by bringing opposition parties and civil society groups together. However, the stakeholders involved have not yet reached the desired level of cohesion.

Read More:  Critics doubt Biden's transgender regulation, which may cost doctors their jobs

“We understand the pressing need for all parties involved to come to a consensus,” the statement emphasized. “We have emphasized to each party that time is running out to reach a way forward. Based on our reports, the situation on the ground remains extremely dire and is causing us great concern.”

In February, Henry made a commitment to conduct a general election by mid-2025, while the international community has been actively seeking a foreign armed force that would be willing to address the issue of gang violence in the country.

Henry has been urged by Caricom to announce a power-sharing, consensus government in the meantime. However, despite the demands for his resignation from Haitian opposition parties and civil society groups, the prime minister has not taken action on this matter.

After the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, Henry, a neurosurgeon, was appointed as Haiti’s prime minister.

The certainty of Henry’s presence in Jamaica for the Caricom meeting remained uncertain.

In Port-au-Prince, the police and palace guards were actively engaged in retaking control of the streets in the capital. Major attacks were launched by gangs on at least three police stations, prompting a swift response from the authorities.

Guards from the National Palace, accompanied by an armored truck, made an attempt to establish a security perimeter around one of the three downtown stations. This came after the police successfully repelled an attack by gangs late on Friday.

Haiti has been dealing with a series of relentless gang attacks that have caused widespread havoc and disrupted the normal functioning of the country. These attacks, which have been going on for over a week now, have not only paralyzed the nation but have also resulted in a shortage of essential supplies. In response to this crisis, the Haitian government has taken measures to address the situation by extending the state of emergency and implementing a nightly curfew. Despite these efforts, gangs are still targeting key state institutions, further exacerbating the already dire situation.

Read More:  Organizers say Colorado abortion access amendment has gathered enough signatures for ballot

Average Haitians, who have been displaced from their homes due to the ongoing street fighting, are unable to wait. The challenge faced by the police in ensuring the security of government buildings is that numerous Haitians have sought shelter within them.

“We, the taxpayers, deserve a place to call home,” expressed an anonymous woman, prioritizing her safety.

A resident of Port-au-Prince, who preferred to remain anonymous, shared their account of the attacks that took place on Friday.

“We were confronted by gangs armed with powerful firearms. We, on the other hand, are defenseless, lacking any means to protect ourselves. It is a dire situation, and as a result, both the adults and the children are enduring immense suffering,” expressed the man.

Reference article

Leave a Comment