The Haitian military will be enlisted to assist the National Police in battling the nation’s increasingly formidable gangs, according to Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s signal from Friday.
During a speech at the Armed Forces headquarters, Henry declared his intention to use all of the nation’s security forces to combat gang violence. His remarks come at a time when Haiti and some UN officials are still urging the international community to send in foreign armed forces to assist in putting an end to the widespread bloodshed.
The Associated Press was informed that arrangements are being made to activate the military by Jean Robenson Servilius, who works in the defense ministry’s press office. He stated that there are presently over 2,000 troops in the Armed Forces and that more are being recruited. He also stated that they have received training from professionals in Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia.
Further information was unavailable, according to Robenson.
After taking part in many coups and being charged with additional political meddling, Haiti’s military was abolished in 1995. President Jovenel Mose, who was assassinated in 2017, restored the Armed Forces when the UN’s MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission in Haiti came to an end.
Since then, it has had a limited impact, protecting the prime minister of Haiti among other things.
“Are we ready to work hand-in-hand with the police force in the fight against insecurity?” Henry enquired while he was at the military command center in Haiti.
When, how many troops would be summoned to service, or what function they would perform were not immediately known. Henry emphasized nevertheless that they needed to help.
“With gangs running wild everywhere, we won’t be able to create the Haiti that we desire. They must listen to reason, or we will force them to do so against their choice, he warned.
In the wake of Mose’s death in July 2021 at his house, gangs are thought to control 60% of Port-au-Prince, and they have slain hundreds of people in recent months in their struggle for greater territory. The continuous violence in Haiti has resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of people and, according to UN experts, has reached levels not seen in many years.