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.
Political and economic instability continued amid political stalemate, although anti-govt protests subsided, with many schools and businesses reopening 2 Dec after more than two months closure due to protests. No significant progress in terms of negotiations between Moïse and opposition, although FM issued statement 12 Dec that private meetings between president and members of opposition have been making progress. President Moïse 7 Dec gave interview stating Haiti is ungovernable under current constitution, which he said limits presidential power. International community continued to support national dialogue, including visit of senior U.S. official 6 Dec for meeting with Moïse and FM; hundreds of protesters marched to U.S. embassy same day demanding Trump administration stop supporting Moïse. Consensual Alternative for the Refoundation of Haiti, an anti-Moïse political platform, 9 Dec rejected U.S.’s recommendation for dialogue among political actors without preconditions or delays. Levels of violence in slums reportedly increased amid security vacuum as police divert resources to dealing with protests; news agency Reuters 10 Dec reported gangs fighting over territory where they extract “protection” fees and carry out drugs and arms trades. Amid worsening humanitarian crisis, violence continued to affect aid distribution.
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.