New PM Jack Guy Lafontant, previously sec gen of Party of Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Haiti (MODELH-PRDH), took office 21 March after Chamber of Deputies gave vote of confidence despite resistance of some deputies from president’s PHTK (Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale) party. Senate 15 March approved resolution demanding return of Senator of Grand’Anse Guy Philippe, currently awaiting trial in U.S. after being extradited on drug trafficking charges, and all other Haitians extradited to U.S.. Annual U.S. govt narcotics control strategy report highlighted corruption and money laundering in Haiti, weakness of judicial system. Transformation of UN Stabilization Mission, in Haiti since 2004 and supposed to end 15 April, continued to prompt debate: civil society organisations 14 March released international petition calling for MINUSTAH withdrawal; UNSG Guterres 19 March proposed additional mission for period of six months, to focus on strengthening Haitian National Police and judicial system, no military personnel; UNSC to vote mid-April. Govt 18 March expressed its opposition to renewal of UN human rights expert Gustavo Gallón’s mandate, citing need for Haiti to regain its independence. UN 6 March launched $2.72bn plan to improve disaster risk management in Haiti.
Without an inclusive national pact on critical priorities, President Michel Martelly faces the spectre of a failed presidency, and Haiti risks international abandonment.
The UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) needs a gradual reconfiguration of its operations prior to a withdrawal, to avoid a security vacuum and give Haiti the chance for sustainable development.
A dysfunctional justice system continues to pose significant obstacles to the democratic process in a post-earthquake Haiti where security and stability remain fragile.
Kidnapping, urban gangs and unresolved killings form a trifecta of challenges to citizen safety that the four month-old Martelly administation must confront by speedily completing reforms to professionalise the Haitian National Police(HNP).
A year and a half after a deadly earthquake devastated its capital, 650,000 victims still wait for permanent housing in more than 1,000 unstable emergency camps across Haiti as a new hurricane season arrives.
Haitian authorities and the international community need to ensure that the first post-quake elections meet acceptable standards of credibility and produce the legitimate government needed to carry through massive institutional and infrastructure reconstruction.
Originally published in Huffington Post
Presentation by Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group on “Is it time for MINUSTAH to leave Haiti?” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, DC, 25 July 2013.
Originally published in Reforma
Originally published in Miami Herald
Delayed elections, mistrust and public protests against Haitian President Michel Martelly threaten the country’s chance to end decades of political conflict and to recover from the 2010 earthquake. Without a national accord, the country risks ongoing crises. Javier Ciurlizza, Crisis Group Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, tells us more on the current challenges Haiti is facing.