The business sector calls on Kenya to deploy the MMS "in a relatively short time".

By Alterpresse, April 18, 2024

Several Business Associations in Haiti have requested the deployment "in a relatively short time" of the Multinational Security Support Mission (MMS) in Haiti, in a correspondence dated April 15, 2024, addressed to the President of Kenya, William Ruto.

The business associations that signed the letter to President Ruto are the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie d'Haïti (CCIH), the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de l'Ouest (CCIO), the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti (AmCham Haiti) and the Association touristique d'Haïti (ATH).

On the evening of Tuesday April 16, 2024, the de facto government formally published the decree appointing the 9 members of the Transitional Presidential Council, drawn from various sectors and political parties, through the de facto Prime Minister's office, following more than 24 hours of confusion surrounding the appointment.

To justify their request, the Haitian business associations point to the lack of adequate human and material resources in the Haitian security forces, "to undertake the arduous task of immediately restoring security, to enable the transitional government to implement its roadmap".

The Haitian business associations say they consider Kenya's leadership crucial "to help Haiti's security forces defeat gangs, secure critical infrastructure and assist in the preparation and initial implementation of a national security plan, including the establishment of a National Security Council".

These business associations say they are "extremely concerned by the unfortunate delay" of the deployment of the MMS, more than six months after the adoption of UN resolution 2699.

The deployment of this force was authorized by the UN Security Council on October 2, 2023, following a request for assistance to the Haitian National Police (PNH) made on October 7, 2022 by the de facto government.

At a meeting on Thursday April 11, 2024, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his French counterpart Gabriel Attal called for the rapid deployment of the MMS to Haiti to help the PNH combat organized crime.

According to a senior official in the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Kenyan government had decided to suspend the planned dispatch of Kenyan police officers to Haiti.

To justify this provisional suspension, the Kenyan government pointed to a lack of resources.

To justify this provisional suspension, the Kenyan government pointed to a radical change in conditions on the ground, following the complete breakdown of law and order and the resignation, on Monday March 11, 2024, of de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Since Tuesday March 5, 2024, Ariel Henry has been stranded in Puerto Rico.

These Haitian business employer associations stated that "stability, which Kenya-led aid will help achieve, will enable the Haitian economy paralyzed by years of growing insecurity and forced to downsize to a fraction of its installed capacity and capabilities, to rapidly accelerate production and employment, to ensure that all stabilization efforts are sustained with reliable and stable socio-economic growth, and employment".

"Security is a vital component of a state's socio-economic development. There can be no significant investment without security", they emphasize, pointing out how Haiti's capital and its most important agricultural zone are besieged by well-armed gangs, which impede the free movement of people and goods in Haiti's 10 geographical departments.

From January to March 2024, the United Nations counted over 1,500 people killed, while the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) was able to count, for the same period, at least 208 deaths, including 13 national police officers.

According to the latest data published on Friday April 12, 2024, by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in one month, from Friday March 8 to Tuesday April 9, 2024, 94,821 people fled the metropolitan area of the capital, Port-au-Prince, to take refuge in provincial towns.

58% of these displaced persons took means of transport to the departments of the Grand Sud (South-East, South, Grande Anse and Nippes / South-West).

The number of internally displaced people in Haiti has risen to over 360,000 since 2023.

 

Translated and edited for clarity by CHIP editors

 

Posted April 21, 2024