PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Apr 11, CMC – Haiti has warned persons “regardless of status…or organisation” to stop wearing military uniforms which it says is “intended to confuse and discredit” the new army.
The Ministry of Defense said it had taken note of the actions of unidentified individuals posing as demobilized soldiers, and was reminding everyone that “”the restoration of the Armed Forces of Haiti by two decrees of 16 and 17 November 2017 do not authorize any citizen, regardless of his status or to any organization he belongs, to wear military uniforms without being part of a legally constituted military organization”.
It said that it was also urging those persons who were using the military uniforms “or …in certain circumstances, to take the place of police forces constitutionally responsible for ensuring public order, protecting life and property”.
The Ministry of Defense said it also wanted to remind soldiers enrolled in the programme being carried out by the Office of Management of Demobilized Military Personnel, that ‘they must refrain from any behaviour likely to pose them as troublemakers and constantly use the law and regulations as a compass.
“The Ministry of Defense therefore warns any individual or organized group against destabilizing acts intended to confuse and discredit the new defence force,” it said, warning “if these individuals or organized groups fail to comply, the competent authorities will take such sanctions as they are entitled to”.
On 9 October last year, the Council of Ministers adopted a “decree on the organization and functioning of the Ministry of Defence”, which officially remobilized the Armed Forces of Haiti (FAd’H).
The decree fulfils a campaign promise of President Jovenel Moise to re-establish the force so as to ensure that the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country was able to see after its security following the departure of the United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (MINUSTAH), the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti that was in operation from 2004 to 2017.