AMERICA/HAITI - The situation remains blocked in Haiti while the population continues to suffer

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 un   bishops   violence  

Port-au-Prince (Agenzia Fides) - The situation remains blocked in Haiti, where the nine members of the Transitional Presidential Council have not yet agreed on the name of the new Prime Minister. The Transitional Council was created after the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, forced to resign due to threats from the armed gangs that effectively control the capital, Port-au-Prince. Under international pressure and with the mediation of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), the Transitional Presidential Council, composed of seven full members and two observers, was formed to appoint an interim Prime Minister and attempt to regain control of the public order.
The Haitian bishops did not participate in the formation of the Transitional Council. In their pastoral letter of March 18, they affirm that "in order to maintain the moral distance that allows it to fulfill its prophetic mission, the CEH (Haitian Episcopal Conference) has not appointed anyone to represent the Catholic Church in the Presidential Council nor in any government structure". "We hope, however, that the ongoing talks will lead to a truly patriotic, inclusive and lasting agreement, in the interest of all the Haitian people, who aspire to peace and prosperity," the bishops affirm.
"The Episcopal Conference of Haiti is in line and perspective of this new call for the end of violence in Haiti, for peace and reconciliation, recently launched by Pope Francis," they emphasize. "While waiting for the constitution of the institutional bodies that must bring the transition to a successful conclusion, we indiscriminately invite all Haitians not to fuel violence, because violence begets violence, hatred begets more hatred and death more death," the note continues. "All destruction sets back or delays Haiti in its march toward the progress we all desire." However, the road to the pacification of Haiti still seems long. In addition to the difficulties within the Transitional Council itself, the international community is also struggling to begin the deployment of a Kenyan-led police force to help the new Haitian authorities regain control of the capital in the hands of some 300 armed gangs.
"It is not a UN peacekeeping mission, it is a different type of mission, the police have to be trained, and the Department of Defense has to establish a camp in Haiti to house the police and a UN trust fund so that Kenya can receive the money to undertake this mission in Haiti... and these things take time," stressed the US ambassador in Nairobi. Meanwhile, a Pentagon contract announcement has been published to finance the sending of at least one Catholic and one Protestant chaplain for members of the police force to send to Haiti. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/3/2024)