Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders have agreed to send a fact-finding mission to Haiti in a bid to come up with a solution to the ongoing social and political unrest in the French-speaking CARICOM member country where opposition parties are demanding the removal of President Jovenel Moise.
The mission will be led by CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and will include representatives from the Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados.
Moise was among several Caribbean leaders who did not attend the two-day Inter-sessional summit that ended in Barbados on Wednesday.
“We need to work with the various stakeholders in Haiti to find some kind of lasting solution.”— Skerrit
The opposition parties have accused Moise, who came to power in 2017, of corruption and have been staging street demonstrations in support of their demands for him to step down. Moise has denied the allegations and has been spearheading efforts for the establishment of a government of national unity.
At their last summit in St Lucia, CARICOM had agreed on a prime ministerial delegation to visit the French-speaking country but that never materialised, and Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that it was important for the region to send a fact-finding mission to Haiti.
“It is felt that if we do not help address the domestic issue confronting Haiti, we will continue to have tremendous negative impacts on countries like the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas who are seeing a large number of migrants coming into these countries and creating some domestic challenges for them.
“So we need to work with the various stakeholders in Haiti to find some kind of lasting solution to the current impasse,” Skerrit said.
He also warned that CARICOM cannot afford to neglect is its duty to Port au Prince amid the ongoing turmoil.
However, Skerrit acknowledged that finding a solution to the current impasse will not solve the country’s problems and there is a need for engagement with Haiti and the international community on the social and economic challenges.