Stability and security in Haiti remain shaky following the disastrous 2010 earthquake. Democratic institutions are weak and government largely unaccountable, leaving citizens sceptical of participatory politics. Income and wealth gaps are yawning. For several years Crisis Group’s Haiti Project advocated for national consensus and international donor patience to begin addressing the systemic socio-political problems underlying the country’s humanitarian plight. We ended this Project in 2013 but continue to closely monitor events in Haiti through the Crisis Watch conflict tracker.
Amid persistent political crisis and insecurity, tensions emerged over electoral calendar. Govt repeatedly argued that President Moïse’s term ends 7 Feb 2022 while opposition claimed term ends a year earlier; divergence caused by differing interpretations of political crisis that followed Oct 2015 presidential election. Organization of American States Sec Gen Almagro 5 June stated Moïse’s term should end in 2022, prompting several human rights groups and opposition parties to accuse regional body of “meddling in Haitian affairs”. Tensions between govt and hardline police organisation Fantom 509 continued. Fantom 509 7 June erected barricades and set tyres alight in capital Port-au-Prince to demand Moïse’s resignation; justice minister 10 June claimed group had “terrorist” intentions. Amid ongoing concerns over insecurity, PM Jouthe 25 June said govt was looking into allegations by human rights organisations that criminal groups were using police armoured vehicles; unidentified gunmen 27 June killed three at meeting of political party Regroupement des Patriotes Responsables in Delmas city. Pan American Health Organization 16 June reported “worrying trend” of high COVID-19 transmission in border region between Haiti and Dominican Republic. Deportation of migrants from U.S. continued; deportees included former paramilitary leader Emmanuel Toto Constant, whom authorities arrested upon his arrival 23 June on charges of murder and torture in 1990s.
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.