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(en) Canada, Collectif Emma Goldman - Haiti: The Haitian population anxious about the arrival of foreign military troops (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 1 Aug 2021 09:34:04 +0300

On the night of July 6 to 7, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by a commando team in his home in Pétion-Ville. Since this event, the country has once again been plunged into a major crisis and uncertainty reigns more than ever. While the hour is in the search of clues which will lead to the arrest of the murderers, the Haitian population holds its breath and the anguish is palpable vis-a-vis what will have to undergo the people of the pearl of the Antilles. Recently, Prime Minister Claude Joseph raised the idea of calling on foreign military troops (from the United Nations and the United States) to protect the country's vital infrastructure such as the airport in the capital, Port-au- Prince, and the main ports. Several Haitian civil society organizations fear that the United States will impose on the population a new government managed by people they will want to place at the head of the country and who will defend the interests of the Americans[1]. It is important to remember that Haiti has a long history of military occupation, the most recent of which dates back to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) from 2004 to 2017 and the deployment of American troops in the country during the same period.

In 2017, a Saguenay police officer, who participated in MINUSTAH, was targeted by allegations of sexual assault. The Saguenay Police Department (STS) protected him and he was repatriated to Canada, preventing any legal proceedings in Haiti. It is important to remember that this police officer is still on duty in Saguenay[2]. During the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, several dozen women were attacked by the soldiers present in the territory and each time, they were able to do so with complete impunity. According to Canadian-British research, at least 265 children were born from these rapes and assaults[3]. One of the only times the soldiers had to face justice was in 2012: "In 2012, three Uruguayan soldiers were convicted of sexual assault against an 18-year-old Haitian. The attackers filmed the rape and the video shocked Haitians. Protests forced the authorities to act. "[4]. Faced with the macabre portrait of attacks and rapes committed by foreign soldiers in Haiti, it's a safe bet that without these demonstrations, all this would have remained a dead letter.

However, the number of official attacks is only the tip of the iceberg since hundreds more have not had to be declared according to NGOs such as Solidarité femmes haïtiennes (SOFA, Solidarite Fanm ayisyen). Indeed, in this climate of terror and impunity of the aggressors, few reports had to be made. To all these atrocities, we must add the outbreak of cholera in a UN camp in 2011 during MINUSTAH. The anguish of the Haitian people is very real. Nothing good is coming if foreign powers intervene. As several Haitians (including civil society groups) declare, the situation must be resolved by the people of Haiti and it is time to put an end to this humiliation caused by the foreign occupation!

1. Reuters:Haitians apprehensive of foreign troops as government seeks US help

2. Radio-Canada, ICI Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean:A Saguenay police officer targeted by allegations of sexual assault in Haiti

3. Radio-Canada International:265 children conceived and abandoned by UN peacekeepers in Haiti

4. Radio-Canada:Sexual assault in Haiti: the impunity of MINUSTAH denounced

by Collectif Emma Goldman

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