CARICOM | The transitional Council process will go on despite opposition.

CARICOM | The transitional Council process will go on despite opposition.

KINGSTON, Jamaica March 14, 2024 - While there has been a lukewarm acceptance  of Monday's CARICOM/Stakeholder solution to the Haitian crisis, there has been a level of push back from Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM David Commissiong who has been somewhat close to the process.

Speaking on the CBC’s Newsnight TV programme, Commissiong pointed out that some of those now railing against the arrangement, was indeed a part of crafting the arrangement in Jamaica: 

More than 200 gangs are estimated to operate around Haiti, mostly in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. More than 20 of them are based in the capital and rally around two main coalitions: G9 Family and Allies led by Jimmy Chérizier, a former elite police officer known as “Barbecue”; and G-Pep, led by Gabriel Jean-Pierre, who is allied with Johnson André, leader of the 5 Seconds gang and known as “Izo.”

“Gangs have become stronger, and they have the upper hand in terms of security,” said Renata Segura of the International Crisis Group. “This transition is not influencing the day-to-day security of Haiti. We are very concerned.”

Shortly before Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he would resign and Caribbean officials announced the creation of a transitional council, Chérizier held an impromptu news conference and rejected any solution led and supported by the international community.

“It’s the Haitian people who know what they’re going through. It’s the Haitian people who are going to take destiny into their own hands. Haitian people will choose who will govern them,” Chérizier said.

In recent weeks, gangs have torched police stations, forced the closure of Haiti’s two international airports and stormed the country’s two biggest prisons, freeing more than 4,000 inmates.

Scores of people have been killed, and the U.N. says more than 15,000 Haitians have been left homeless by the recent attacks. On Tuesday, the U.N. food agency’s director in Haiti, Jean-Martin Bauer, said 4 million people face “acute food insecurity” and one million of them are one step away from famine.

It’s unclear whether Chérizier, considered Haiti’s most powerful gang leader, and other armed groups will accept the plan to create a transitional council.

The council will be responsible for appointing an interim prime minister, and the new leader will work with the council to select a council of ministers.

It would have seven voting members and two nonvoting ones. Those with votes include the Pitit Desalin party, run by former senator and presidential candidate Moïse Jean-Charles, who is now an ally of Guy Philippe, a former rebel leader who led a successful 2004 coup and was recently released from a United States prison after pleading guilty to money laundering.

Also with a vote is the EDE party of former Prime Minister Charles Joseph; the Fanmi Lavalas party; the coalition led by Henry; the Montana Accord group; and members of the private sector.


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