Jamaica prepared to send soldiers, police to Haiti says Holness Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaica is willing and ready to send members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to neighbouring Haiti to help stabilise the troubled Caribbean nation, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said.

Holness gave the assurance on Tuesday while making a ministerial statement in the House of Representatives.

The security and humanitarian situation in the perennially-troubled Haiti have deteriorated rapidly since the assassination of the country’s President, Jovenel Mo?se, on July 7, 2021. Since then, powerful gangs have taken over entire neighbourhoods as violence escalates, there has been a cholera outbreak that has killed hundreds and sickened thousands, and a worsening famine has put millions at risk of starvation.

Holness said Jamaica stands ready to help play its part in bringing some order to the unfolding crisis in Haiti, notwithstanding Jamaica’s own problems.

“Jamaica will be willing to participate in a multinational security assistance deployment to Haiti under the appropriate jurisdictional parameters to support a return to a reasonable level of stability and peace, which would be necessary for any inclusive democratic process to take root,” he said.

“Both the JDF and the JCF have been alerted to this possible course of support and they would have started to plan for such eventualities as part of their routine situational awareness and response readiness,” the prime minister added.

He said the Jamaican Government and Jamaicans are “deeply concerned about the humanitarian and security crises being experienced by Haitians”.

He also noted that “the people of Haiti continue to have their human rights threatened by powerful gangs and militias which perpetrate heinous crimes, including killings, kidnappings and acts of violence against women and children”.

“These have escalated with the recent murders of policemen,” said Holness. He said Jamaica, through a joint Caricom statement strongly condemned the recent round of violence in Haiti.

“Today (Tuesday) I reiterate that condemnation and extend our condolences to the families of the fallen officers,” he said.

Holnes also noted that nearly five million people in Haiti face acute hunger, “and cases of cholera and cholera-related deaths continue to pose grave difficulties for the country’s public health system.

“Indeed, there are several emergency-level crises now in Haiti”.

Holness shared that Jamaica continues to collaborate on efforts to deliver on Haiti’s request for international assistance.

“While internal deliberations within Caricom remain ongoing, Jamaica restates our preparedness to support a united international effort in response to the persistent and deteriorating emergency in Haiti.

“We note with interest an initiative being contemplated within the OAS (Organisation of American States) to strengthen the organisation’s response to the increasingly complex and challenging situation in Haiti. Jamaica will remain closely involved in efforts within this body to develop constructive approaches at the hemispheric level”.

Holness highlighted that from a bilateral perspective, Jamaica and Haiti are neighbours enjoying longstanding good relations and partnerships.

“We have long signalled, and here reiterate, our willingness to provide specific bilateral support including in the areas of electoral reform, capacity building and logistics.

“The Government of Jamaica also stands prepared to host our Haitian brothers and neighbours here in Kingston, for constructive talks and negotiations between Haitian political leaders and civil society actors, should this be an agreed approach,” Holness said.

He added: “It is our real hope that Haiti will soon overcome her challenges and embark on a part towards the restoration of stability, long-lasting peace and sustainable development for her land and people, with the full backing of the international community”.