CARICOM heads of government yesterday underwent what is being described as a ‘special mission’ for a one-day working visit to Haiti. The country has plunged into deep lawlessness because of a recent upsurge in gang violence socio-political turmoil.
A media release from CARICOM said the mission was led by Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness who met with the interim Prime Minister of Haiti, Dr Ariel Henry, the Director General of the Haitian National Police and with a variety of stakeholders including representatives of the High Transition Council, political accords, political parties, civil society, religious groups, and the private sector.
“This mission was the first opportunity for CARICOM officials to observe the situation on the ground and directly engage stakeholders in the continuing search for a solution to the ongoing situation in Haiti. The complex socio-economic and political challenge is characterised by protracted instability and destabilising gang violence,” CARICOM stated.
The regional bloc did not state what solutions it was able to come up with for the French-speaking nation.
In the meantime, the move to visit Haiti is in keeping with the decision CARICOM heads made at their 44th Regular Meeting in Nassau, The Bahamas earlier this month.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, who was present for that meeting, reported afterwards that the deteriorating situation in Haiti is very important for the Virgin Islands.
“We ourselves continue to see a steady stream of Haitians fleeing their country and arriving on our shores through human trafficking or drifting ashore by boat or raft,” Dr Wheatley said in a recent statement. Our law enforcement agencies, security personnel and other public officers are all doing their best to appropriately respond to these arrivals, including asylum cases and repatriations.”
“We are doing our best to look after the welfare of our Haitian brothers and sisters who face an unfortunate set of circumstances. A regional and hemispheric response to the collapse of law and order in Haiti is urgently needed, which CARICOM, Canada and other partners are working on. My administration will remain engaged with CARICOM as things develop to help inform our own local response to handling the cases of Haitians who have ended up on our shores after fleeing their home,” the Premier added.
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