Talks in Haiti regressed, CARICOM group says

CARICOM’s Eminent Persons Group (EPG) said a recent meeting with Haitian stakeholders on a path forward towards elections and governance took a bad turn after some called for the resignation of Haiti’s prime minister.

The group is made up of former prime ministers Dr. Kenny Anthony from Saint Lucia; Bruce Golding of Jamaica; and Perry Christie of The Bahamas.

The trio visited Haiti on September 4 “in order to make progress in the search for a sustainable solution to the long-standing political impasse”.

“The group was, however, disappointed that the tone of the discussions had hardened and that the positions of some stakeholders had regressed significantly, reflected in the strident calls for the resignation of the prime minister,” the group said in a statement. 

“These developments coincided with the alarming deterioration of the security situation in Port-au-Prince in August and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis in the country.

“In this impaired political environment, the agreed commencement of intensive mediation meetings with reduced groups of participants was delayed by the setting of conditions and non-compliance with the agreed limits on the number of persons to be present in a new phase of intensive mediation.”

The group said an agreement was eventually reached on the arrangements for intensive mediation meetings to start on September 12.

“This phase of the negotiations will be facilitated initially by the EPG via video conference and subsequently in person by the EPG, should the stakeholders so request,” the statement said.

“The EPG remains hopeful that with determination, goodwill and a recognition that the interests of the people of Haiti must be the overriding concern of all stakeholders, a solution can be found to restore Haiti on a path of constitutionalism and democracy.”

The EPG is tasked with meeting with Haitian stakeholders to support dialogue on finding a solution to the ongoing crises facing the country, elections and governance.

Haiti has been in a state of crisis since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021.

Officials at the United Nations (UN) have said that murders, rapes, kidnappings and lynchings were on the rise in Haiti. Much of the violence, officials say, is concentrated in Port-au-Prince and gang related.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the news editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to news editor in January 2023.

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