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Caricom chairman Browne urges caution in response to Haiti


Caricom chairman Browne urges caution in response to Haiti
Antigua & Barbuda prime minister, Gaston Browne. (GP) - FP

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St Johns – Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he does not favour any military presence in Haiti as the French-speaking member country continues its investigation into the assassination of its President Jovenel Moise last Wednesday.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), Helen La Lime, says: “Haiti has requested international support to investigate the assassination” as well as in matters of security.

“Haiti must specify exactly what it is looking for,” said La Lime.

The UN Security Council would have to approve any plan to send international troops to Haiti under UN auspices.

Browne, the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister, who took over the chairmanship of the 15-member grouping, of which Haiti is a member, said the final decision rests with Haitians themselves, even as he cautioned international agencies and countries should not try to meddle in the politics of the country.

“I think that any intervention would have to be at the invitation of the Haitian people. I think what is important here is for CARICOM to take the lead with the support of the international community to help the Haitian people to come up with an indigenous solution.

“We have to be very careful that we do not appear as though we are meddling in the internal politics of Haiti, Browne said.

Browne said CARICOM would have to coordinate its efforts with other international stakeholders in dealing with Haiti, “providing some leadership in helping the Haitian people to come together and put an interim government in place, while at the same time putting structure in place to strengthen the institutional arrangements so that they will have a functional governance and electoral machinery in order to ensure that credible elections will be held in the shortest possible time”.

La Lime has said that the Haitian authorities are working to having a first round of elections on September 26, with a second round set for November.

Moise was gunned down at his home. His wife, Martine Moise, who survived the attack, said from her hospital bed in the United States that the gunmen, said to be former Colombian army officials, shot him in ““the blink of an eye, without even giving him a chance to say a word”.

She said the mercenaries were sent to kill her husband “because of roads, water, electricity and referendum as well as elections at the end of the year so that there is no transition in the country”.

Haitian authorities say an armed commando of 28 men – 26 Colombians and two Haitian-Americans – burst in and opened fire on the couple in their home. Seventeen people have been arrested so far and at least three suspects were killed, but no motive has been made public. (CMC)