Violent anti-govt protests gripped country, while tensions increased over political impasse and alleged corruption. Protesters 9 June demonstrated in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere, demanding President Moïse’s resignation and clashing with police; two people shot dead and further four injured with responsibility for deaths unclear. Demonstrators 10 June began two-day strike in Port-au-Prince and established roadblocks throughout capital; same day, unknown gunmen killed prominent radio journalist who had reported on corruption allegations against Moïse. Protests followed late-May High Court of Auditors final report on PetroCaribe (alliance giving Caribbean states access to cheap Venezuelan oil) scandal, that said Moïse was centre of mass embezzlement scheme of public money; Moïse 12 June denied wrongdoing and refused to leave office, sparking further mass protests 12, 14 and 16 June. Opposition senators continued to block ratification of new PM Lapin’s cabinet for including eight members from heavily-criticised previous cabinet. UN Security Council 24 June approved creation of UN “Integrated Office” supporting political stability and governance to replace UN police force when latter’s mandate ends Oct.
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.