Bahamas closes embassy in Haiti as unrest continues in French speaking country

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The Bahamas government Tuesday said that its embassy in Haiti would remain closed “until further notice” as it joined other countries in shutting down their diplomatic buildings as unrest continues in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the decision to close down the embassy followed consultations with the country’s ambassador to security personnel in Haiti.
“Due to continuing unrest in Haiti, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to advise members of the public that the Embassy of The Bahamas in Port au Prince will be closed until further notice,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, adding that “security directives have been issued by the United Nations (UN) Mission in Haiti – MINUJUSTH, implementing a curfew from 2200 hours to 0500 hours until further notice.

(File Photo)

“It is the policy of The Bahamas in situations such as this to act in conjunction with the Diplomatic Community, and the UN if present in the jurisdiction,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, adding that the national airline, Bahamasair has also suspended its flights into Haiti until further notice. It urged the public to consult Bahamasair as to when flights are likely to resume.
“All staff of The Bahamas Embassy are safe.  The Ministry continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates on new developments as they arise.”
The United States Embassy Tuesday lifted its security measures so that US employees can get to work. But it said that the Consular Section is open only for emergency services for US citizens.
Canada has also closed its embassy as a result of the situation.
At least six people have been killed and several others injured as opposition demonstrators have taken to the streets in Haiti demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise and a full investigation into the use of the funds under the PetroCaribe, the Venezuela oil initiative to assist countries in the region.
Police have confirmed that the deaths occurred across the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and that several arrests had been made.
The spokesman for the National Police of Haiti (PNH), Michel-Ange Louis Jeune, said that six people were killed, five others injured and 20 arrests were made, but the opposition organisers speaking at a news conference late Sunday said that 11 people had been killed, 47 wounded and 75 others arrested.
The opposition parties have said they will continue their protest action this week.
Meanwhile, former Haitian foreign affairs minister Edwin Paraison, says he believes the government has failed in managing the crisis affecting the economic life in the country.
Paraison said he regrets that that in his message to the nation last weekend, President Moïse did not address the main issues that have been part of the political agenda of the opposition, adding “the Head of State brings little in his words for most people…”
Paraison said a year ago, Haiti had begun a process of consultations with a view to undertaking a major constitutional reform to change the political system.
“One of the recommendations in the presentation of this Commission’s preliminary report was to change the political system. The Chairman of the Commission stated that in all the consultations, there was a consensus on the fact that that we would begin this constitutional reform,” said Paraison, acknowledging t there are still several legal problems to be solved.

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