Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, says Jamaica and the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been closely monitoring developments in Haiti.
“Jamaica has expressed our willingness to participate in a mission [and] to use our good offices. We have engaged, through the Organization of American States (OAS), and otherwise, in an effort to try to not only understand exactly what is happening, because it’s actually quite a complex situation there, but also our willingness to participate in any way requested by the Government of Haiti,” she said.
The Minister made the remarks while addressing a virtual post-Cabinet press recently.
She condemned the assassination of Haitian President, Jovenel Moïse, and the injury of his wife, First Lady Martine Moïse, in a morning attack.
Haiti has been experiencing a spate of gang violence in recent months fueled by political unrest and a constitutional and humanitarian crisis.
She said Haiti was a topic on the agenda for CARICOM’s members’ meeting and “CARICOM had a representative on that mission that had recently gone to Haiti and had completed its report”.
She further informed that a CARICOM Expert Report had been commissioned, which was presented to CARICOM Head.
“These matters were considered in caucus because of their sensitivity,” she noted.
Turning to the issue of getting coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines into Haiti, the Foreign Affairs Minister indicated that “arrangements were under way in the very same discussions that we are having with the United States (US) about their allocation, and those include allocations to Haiti as well”.
Heads of Government of CARICOM in a statement issued on developments in Haiti, prior to the news of President Moïse’s death, had expressed grave concern over the “untenable situation” in the country.
“Heads of Government of CARICOM condemn the escalating violence, the wanton killings and the ravages of the armed gangs seeking to expand their territory and influence. Heads of Government are deeply disturbed by the resulting internal displacement in the capital, in particular, of thousands of persons, including persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, and by the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of these crimes,” the statement read.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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