Western countries express concern at political situation in Haiti

By CMC

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb 11, CMC – Several Western countries have condemned the “unacceptable acts of violence” in Haiti over the last weekend as opposition parties continue to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise from office.

The Core Group, comprising Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the European Union, the United States of America, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Organization of American States, said that it had taken note of the demands being expressed by the demonstrators.

“The Core Group deplores the loss of life and property damage caused by the unacceptable acts of violence that took place on the margins of the rallies, while acknowledging the professionalism demonstrated by the Haitian National Police as a whole,” it said in a statement.

The Group said it was calling on all stakeholders in Haiti, including its leaders “to engage in a constructive and inclusive dialogue in order to identify and implement realistic and lasting solutions to the political and economic crisis currently occurring in Haiti.

“In this regard, the Group encourages the government to accelerate its structural reforms aimed at promoting a better management of the State’s resources, improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable, fight inequalities, and foster a conducive investment climate to stimulate the development of productive sectors – essential to catalysing the country’s growth.”

Opposition political parties have been staging street demonstrations in support of their calls for President Moise to step down, after accusing him of not investigating allegations of corruption in the previous government over PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. They are also demanding fresh elections and jobs.

But Moise has dismissed the calls for him to resign.

On Sunday, demonstrators burnt tyres and sporadic gunshots were heard forcing the closure of many businesses.

Several vehicles vandalized while others were burnt, shop windows were smashed and public buildings looted.

Police also clashed with protesters near the airport and used tear gas to regain control of the situation…

Earlier this month, the President of the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Disputes (CSC/CA), Pierre Volmar Demesyeux, presented a copy of the report on the management of projects financed by the PetroCaribe funds to the Speaker of the Senate Carl Murat Cantave.

Cantave has since presented the report to Senator Youri Latortue, the President of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

“We will analyse the report before submitting it to the Assembly of Senators…who will send the 236-page report of the Court to the prosecution for the necessary follow-up action,” Latortue said.

In its statement, the Core Group said that it was reiterating the fact that in a democracy change must come through the ballot box, and not through violence.

It said it was urging the executive and legislative branches of power to collaborate for the electoral law and the 2018-2019 budget law to be adopted and promulgated as soon as possible.

“It is only through these actions that the elections scheduled by the Constitution for October 2019, can be held in a free, fair and transparent manner, and that an institutional vacuum will be avoided.”

Meanwhile, meanwhile, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Haiti, Helen La Lime, has called for a thorough investigation into the incident last Saturday when a UN Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) from the United Nations Mission for Justice in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) was involved in an accident, resulting in four people being killed.

““It is with profound sadness that the United Nations has learned of the deaths of four people as a result of a road accident involving a public transportation vehicle and a UN Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) that occurred …in Canape Vert, a neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince,” the UN said in a statement.

It said preliminary information indicates, one Haitian citizen and eight UN police officers were also injured in the accident.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and wish to present my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the deceased as well as express my sympathies to the injured,” La Lime said, adding “I have requested that the circumstances of the accident be thoroughly investigated”.

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