Bahamian diplomats leave Haiti
Nassau, Bahamas – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that all seven Bahamian diplomats, including the spouse of the charge d’Affaires, were airlifted out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti by helicopter on Friday and have since landed in safely in the Dominican Republic.
In a statement late Friday, Prime Minister Dr Phillip “Brave’ Davis expressed deep gratitude to the President of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader and the Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic Roberto Alvarez for the execution of this process.”
This development comes as on Thursday, the Prime Minister ordered all Bahamian diplomatic personnel in Haiti to immediately leave the country as soon as security conditions permitted, citing the rapidly devolving and unstable conditions in the wake of reported violent gang killings of police officers and protests in the French speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state.
Over the past few days outraged rebel police officers “paralysed” Port-au-Prince in protest of a slew of killings of police officers by Haitian gangs.
Last week, more than a hundred protesters blocked roads, shot guns into the air, and broke through gates in the capital’s airport and the Prime Minister’s house.
This comes after a protracted period of violence and tension in Haiti after its President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in his home by armed men in July 2021.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, once conditions improve, a team from The Bahamas will be sent back into Haiti without further announcement.
CARICOM subsequently issued the following statement:
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is deeply concerned that the contrasting incidents involving the Haitian national Police indicate the severity of the challenges that the police face as well as further breakdown in security in Haiti.
CARICOM strongly condemns the killing of police officers and expresses its condolences to the families of the officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The anger and dismay of the police at the gruesome killings of their colleagues, 78 killed since July 2021and 14 to date this January, are shared by all.
However, abandoning the role of the security forces to protect every citizen and maintain public order further destabilises the country. The protest actions by members of the police service against the Prime Minister cannot be condoned.
CARICOM urges the members of the Haitian National Police to safeguard peace and order and refrain from actions which could only serve to foster even greater damage to the country and its people. (CMC)