By Theresa Goodwin
A panel of experts who appeared on Observer’s Big Issues yesterday, has agreed that the wider Caribbean Community (Caricom) grouping, of which Haiti is a member, should be the organisation providing security and other assistance to Haiti in the wake of recent turmoil, and not troops from the United States.
Haiti has sought US aid in securing the country and investigating the attack that killed President Jovenel Moïse last Wednesday at his Port-au-Prince home.
Former Ambassador of Jamaica to the United Nations, Curtis Ward, is suggesting that if the US is to send troops to Haiti, it should be a multilateral approach and such approval should be made through the UN security council for a military force inclusive of representatives from Caricom countries.
“As a first option, that request should have gone to Caricom countries and then whatever outside assistance they may need, then they would seek that assistance to help them to deploy those troops. It’s a bad look to ask the United States. The US always seems to be the first choice for Haitian leaders and then the Haitian people turn around and hate the United States,” Ambassador Ward said.
He was supported by Emmanuella Douyon, a Haitian trained economist, who also believes the call for US security forces is not warranted at this time as there is a level of mistrust.
“We cannot have the Organization of American States as a mediator now, maybe Caricom could help. What we need is a unity government; this is what most Haitians want at this time no one wants troops,” Douyon explained.
Monique Clesca, an advocate for Haitian women and girls, went on to state that the call for security forces is “little too late”.
Meanwhile, Caricom Chair Prime Minister Gaston Browne is of the view that the regional grouping could put together a special team to assist in stabilising Haiti. He also added that the issue of vaccination will also have to be dealt with as soon as possible.
Regional leaders will be meeting again this week to discuss the matter further.