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“The stars are starting to align” in Haiti, says the new Canadian ambassador

“The stars are starting to align” in Haiti, says the new Canadian ambassador

Andre-François Giraud, the new Canadian ambassador to Port-au-Prince, believes the impatience shown by Canada and Caribbean leaders with Haiti’s prime minister-designate, Ariel Henry, is beginning to pay off.

I think we can say with some pride that the message has been well received and heardHe said in an interview with Radio Canada.

It has been more than two years since the country descended into a triple humanitarian, security and democratic crisis, following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Since then, the government of Ariel Henry has taken over as interim president of the country, with criminal gangs controlling 80% of its capital.

Canada continues to advocate for a solution by and for Haitians. To achieve this, Prime Minister Trudeau took advantage of the Haitian leader’s visit to Ottawa, during the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting, last October, to stress the importance of the roadmap to lead democratic elections.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Ariel Henry last October in Ottawa. (archive photo)

Photo: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wild

Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Mélanie Jolie have given him very explicit messages about the need to communicate and be open to an inclusive political dialogue.

These messages did not arrive alone:United nations He made the decision to create a multinational force led by Kenya to send there. The stars began to align, with the arrival of this forceAmbassador Giro said. The mandate of this force must be determined with the Haitian authorities. Now is the time to reach an agreementhe’s referring to.

It creates momentum at the political level so that the driving forces can align.

The multinational security support mission will exist for an initial period of one year, and its budget will be funded by European Union member states.United nationsworth $600 million.

However, the first police officers may be slow to arrive. The mission is far from unanimous in Kenya. Although Kenyan lawmakers gave the green light to send 1,000 police officers this week, their deployment is disputed in court, and the Nairobi High Court must rule on the constitutionality of the force on January 26.

Canadian participation to be determined

Canadian participation in this Kenya-led mission remains to be determined, but Canada said it is prepared to do more to help Haiti. Until then, the Ambassador notes that the $100 million announced by the Canadian Government to support the Haitian National Police will lay the foundations for the work the multinational force will carry out as it deploys.

But it is currently impossible to predict how many Canadian police officers will participate in these training courses. We haven’t finalized the plans yet, but we’re talking about fairly large groups“, explains André-François Giroud.

Discussions are progressing well behind closed doors, confirms the ambassador, who arrived in Port-au-Prince just under two months ago. Andre-François Giroud is confident. I’m an optimist, and I’m at a point where I’m hoping things will start to improve“, says the ambassador.

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