Home World Jamaica willing to take part in military intervention in Haiti, PM says

Jamaica willing to take part in military intervention in Haiti, PM says

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KINGSTON (Reuters) – Jamaica would be happy to participate in an international military deployment to Haiti, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told lawmakers on Tuesday, with the Caribbean island nation also backing neighboring election reforms. said it was possible.

In October, the United Nations proposed sending a “rapid action force” to Haiti, where gangs are expanding their territory after the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise closed a power vacuum.

This has led to regular gunfights between police officers and gangsters, with police blocking streets last week in protest over the officer’s death. Bloody turf wars between rival gangs have killed hundreds and forced thousands from their homes.

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry is seeking foreign military assistance. Haiti’s UN envoy, Helen La Rime, said the police cannot win without outside assistance and called for more urgency. But negotiations have stalled and most countries appear wary of sending troops.

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“Jamaica would be happy to participate in multinational security assistance deployments to Haiti under appropriate jurisdiction to support the return to a reasonable level of stability and peace,” Holness told MPs. Told.

Both the Jamaican police and military have been notified and will start preparing for “such an event,” he said.

Separately, El Salvador’s Vice President Felix Ulloa has offered to send a “technical team” to Haiti to advise on fighting gangs, a presidential adviser told Reuters. The Central American country has engaged in a bloody crackdown on its own armed gangs that has drawn criticism from human rights groups.

Last week, the Caribbean nation’s CARICOM issued a statement condemning both the recent police massacre and police protests in Haiti.

“We continue to believe that any solution must be driven by the will of the Haitian people,” said Holness. “However, progress over the past week shows that the path towards restoring democratic institutions and the rule of law remains very fragile.”

He noted that there are “increasing reports” of children being recruited into gangs who have not yet resumed school.

Mr Holness added that Kingston stands ready to host talks between Haitian political leaders and civil representatives while talks within CARICOM continue.

Jamaica’s opposition leader Mark Golding said he supported Jamaica’s participation within the parameters outlined by the prime minister, pointing to the “disturbing prospect” of further deterioration for Haiti’s neighbors.

Golding said reparations to Haiti should also be on the negotiating agenda. After Haiti’s independence, France imposed heavy debts on the former colony for lost “property”, including slaves, which took Haiti more than a century to repay, hampering its development.

Reporting by Kate Chappell of Kingston, Nelson Renteria of San Salvador and Sarah Morland of Mexico City.Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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