Why couldn't Haiti National Police, the reconstituted Army and MINUJUSTH stop the violent chaos in Haiti?
Posted by hougansydney.com on Monday, July 16, 2018 Under: Security
Haitians erupted in anger last week after the government decided to stop subsidizing fuel which raised prices by up to 51%. Mass demonstrations quickly turned into tire burnings, violent riotings and looting. Dozens of businesses were vandalized by arson, including two major hotels in the heart of Haiti’s wealthiest district, Petion Ville. At least four people were killed.
The situation deteriorated so quickly that the government was forced to walk back its decision and cancel the price hike a day later. Despite the reversal, the Haitian Capital saw two more days of violent protests with calls for President Jovenel Moise and Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant to resign.
After a week of mounting pressure from every sector in Haiti, Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned in the middle of questioning by lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies, who scheduled the special session in order to vote on a no-confidence bill against the government headed by Lafontant.
In the middle of all this chaos and violence, one can’t help but to wonder where were the National Police and the Army recently put in place? Or even MINUJUSTH? A UN Mission made of international Police whose mission is to help strengthen the rule of laws in Haiti. Why didn’t they stop the violence? Why couldn’t they stop it?
The now over 15.000 strong Haiti National Police (PNH) has been lauded by the international community as a success story. It received, until 2017, training and materials from MINUSTAH, a United Nations military mission deployed in Haiti in 2004 following the ousting of President Jean Bertrand Aristide. Why couldn’t the Police stop the violence and protect those businesses from being looted and destroyed? The capacity of the Haitian Police to provide security in the country was one of the main reasons behind the United Nations' decision to end after 13 years its military operations in the country.
The Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Sandra Honore, speaking before the Security Council at the UN Special meeting on April 11, 2017 to discuss the departure of the UN forces in Haiti in two days, said that “The Haitian National Police(PNH), now 14.000 strong, has demonstrated increased capacity in the planning and execution of complex operations, including the securing of the election, while simultaneously performing routine tasks in combatting crime and more effectively maintaining public order. “
Following the actual end to the UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH) on April 13, 2017, the Haitian government said that the need to revive the Haitian Army, had become more important than ever, to fill up the security vacuum that would result in the withdrawal of the UN forces after 13 years.
Haitian officials insisted that the new Military would not behave like the previous ones because it would have a completely different patriotic duties. On November 18, 2017, Haitian President officially launched the reconstituted Haitian Military. An army that would allow Haiti to “build a democracy where stability, work, security can remain durably.” Where was the army?
The Haitian people are protesting against poverty, insecurity, democracy, but those in charge they spend money on armies, police force and bogus international mission while the situation of the country continues to degrade.
In : Security