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Haiti At The Bottom Of The Abyss, Soon to Be Led By Outlaws 



Jimmy Cherisier, nicknamed Barbecue. By VOA KREYÒL - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHjE4XiEpb4&ab_channel=VOAKREY%C3%92L1:04 (originally, now 1:46), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=146141397

Haiti has been struggling to exist since 1804, but historians say it had never reached such a low point during the past two centuries; and worse, the impoverished Caribbean country  now faces a situation of general despair, disabling it to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to seize its chance.


Since the brutal assassination, in July 2021 of president Jovenel Moise, the international community has been trying, in vain, to get Haitians to agree on a way out of the political crisis, but all the efforts and initiatives have failed because of the shocking unpatriotism of Haitian political actors, from all sides.


Now, the world's first black free and independent republic could, anytime now, be led by a gang-picked government, in the face of the intransigence of the so-called Haitian socioeconomic and political elites.


One of the gang leaders, Jimmy Cherisier, nicknamed Barbecue - in the role of a spokesman for the armed movement - said gunmen ,from the ghettos, are determined to take over power, regardless of the stands taken by other national and international actors.


"We, armed men from the ghettos, are now taking over power and no one can prevent us from achieving our goal, in order to facilitate the change the population has always been demanding," Barbecue told journalists with a smile on his face.


"The time has come. We have put an end to the evil reign of a criminal government and of corrupt oligarchs who have, for too long, held the population hostage'," said Barbecue, warning the Haitian police and military not to try to stop them.


Barbecue said "until now we've been acting with moderation, but if there are people who try to stand in our way, they'll be run over."


The gangs have made several attempts to take over the presidential palace, but the well trained and equipped guards protecting the palace have resisted. However, the armed groups have promised to come back stronger.


CRIMINAL GANGS COULD BE GRANTED AMNESTY


Besides overthowing the Henry government, one of the key objectives pursued by the armed gangs was to be amnestied for the crimes they have committed in recent years, including assassinations and numerous cases of kidnapping and rape.


Another leader of the upheaval is former rebel leader and ex police commissioner, Guy Philippe, who has announced that a process to grant amnesty to the gangs will be launched, once the new regime inaugurated.


"First there would be the Truth Commission, because we have to know how we came to reach the stage where we are now. We need to know who have armed those young people, who gave them the weapons they use, who's given them orders, and how they operate," Philippe explained in a newly released video.


"After collecting the information, you'll know the truth and then you'll have to address the Justice issue, because a lot of people have fallen victim, a lot of people had been killed or forced to flee their homes," Guy Philippe assured.


"And after justice has been made, the pardon issue should be addressed, provided that the individuals concerned continue to cooperate with State authorities so it becomes known how the whole problem has been orchestrated," explained Guy Philippe.


Philippe said the approach would help authorities to get better informed about their mode of operation and how those young people had been used, to prevent the situation from happening again.


Philippe said the most important thing now is to determine what measures should be taken to prevent future occurrences.


"Today you may kill all of those guys, and tomorrow the problem becomes worse. This won't, in any way, help serve the interests of the republic," according to the former rebel chief.


"The reason why a number of people have panicked when the issue is raised, is because they don't want the population to discover the truth, to know about the identity of those who had been arming those young men and women," Philippe stated.


"We have to hear the armed men and they have to feel that they have interest in helping us understand the complexity of the problem. Otherwise, we're going to have to face the same problem."


"That's what the corrupt elites want to impose on the country.

But this time, the truth will come out!" Philippe concluded.


In a voice note widely published on social media, gang leaders have, in turn, given the guarantee that people may go about their businesses without any fear.


They have also called on Haitians from the diaspora not to be afraid any longer to come back to the country.


"Nothing will happen to you.

We are not doing this because someone told us to, but we're doing it because our conscience has demanded it from us," said Jeff "Gwolwa", the gang leader reigning over the district of Canahan, in the West region that includes the capital Port-au-Prince.


"We kneel to ask forgiveness from all those who have been harmed or who have fallen victim as a result of our actions", Gwolwa said.


"We have taken the resolution to renounce such actions," he said.


Actually a number of hostages have been released over the past 4 days hours, including Douglas Pape, son of famous and philanthropic Dr. William Pape, who, among other great endeavors, has set up a specialized center to treat AIDS patients


NEW PROPOSAL FROM CARICOM TALKS DEEMED IMPROBABLE WITHOUT FORCE


Leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and a series of Haitian political stakeholders have agreed to the appointment of a 7-member presidential Council to lead the political transition.


After the announcement, Monday night, by Prime minister Ariel Henry that he would resign and allow for a new regime to assume power,  many politicians and other pundits have expressed skepticism as to the possibility for a new regime to be installed, without prior deployment of needed foreign security forces.


PM Henry had traveled to Kenya, late Feb, to witness the signature of a reciprocal agreement which has created a legal basis for the Kenyan government to deploy some 1,000 police officers to Haiti in the near future.


The US and Canada, two of the most influential countries in Haiti, have ruled out any possibility to send troops to help stabilize the country, and defeat the armed bands.


However, national and international experts agree that a robust multinational force may help provide the needed security and stability for the country to move forward.


The plan to deploy Kenyan troops here still stands, but the delay has caused gangs to regain confidence in their capacity to continue to defy state authorities.


The so-called Montana group and several others have been disputing different approaches to solving the crisis, but no important steps have been effectively taken.


And the continued lack of compromise on the part of the different traditional political actors, can only facilitate the plans orchestrated by the gangs and their allies to take over power, or to move on with their plans to wreak havoc.


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