why no one comes to help

why no one comes to help

After the chaos, the horror. In Haiti, faced with the violence of dozens of armed gangs, the despair is almost unspeakable. In Port-au-Prince, the capital, public services are no longer functioning, the police are in disarray, the interim government set up after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in the summer of 2021, resigned, and international aid is struggling to arrive. UN special envoy Maria Isabel Salvador calls for the immediate deployment of a UN-controlled force at a time when “gang violence has reached unprecedented levels”. Yet the international community still does not intervene to rid the population of the terror of gangs.

Kenya, which had agreed to send 1,000 police officers as part of a UN police mission (with Benin, Chad, Barbados, Bangladesh, the Bahamas) backed down. And Western states have ruled out any direct participation in “the first black Republic”, born from an uprising against Napoleonic France in 1804. In the United States, during the electoral campaign, President Biden cannot run the risk of sending Marines in street fighting. The political cost of possible victims in such a climate of anarchy could be fatal. Washington therefore undertakes to finance the deployment of a foreign force on the condition of not being on the front line. In neighboring Canada, where there is also a strong Haitian diaspora, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, supports an identical position. “Canada has been helping the Haitian people for thirty years,” he declared last fall to the leaders of Caribbean countries (…). The reality is that it is not the responsibility of the international community to resolve the situation for Haiti. »

An unmanageable powder keg

The precedent set by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah), deployed between 2004 and 2017 in order – already – to restore public order, encourages even more caution. Its soldiers, initially from Latin American countries, had faced strong criticism from NGOs who accused them of disproportionate violence against armed gangs. And the Nepalese peacekeepers had been accused of having introduced, in 2010, cholera responsible for 10,000 deaths. As for the Canadian police officers within the Minustah, they had not been spared from the numerous allegations of sexual assaults against civilians attributed to members of the Mission. Deterrent. “After decades of international interventions and billions of euros in aid, the weariness of foreign capitals with regard to Haiti is real,” underlines a recent study by the International Crisis Group think tank.

“The promised peacekeeping forces are, in any case, too few and under-equipped,” warns Robert Rotberg, president emeritus of the World Peace Foundation. One of the most powerful gang leaders, Jimmy Chérizier, has already promised “a civil war” in the event of the arrival of foreign soldiers on Haitian soil. Its friendly nickname is equivalent to the program: “Barbecue”.

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