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Sep 26, 2023

Sending Security to Haiti from Belize

Prime Minister John Briceño

When a high-level U.S. delegation visited Belize in early August, discussions were held about the likelihood of Belize joining a multinational security mission to Haiti to help stabilize the country. On Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay told the United Nations that Belize is prepared to contribute to the multinational mission. Only a day before Minister Courtenay’s remarks, the United States pledged sixty-five million dollars in help for Haiti’s police force. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also announced that the Biden administration will work with the U.S. Congress to provide one hundred million dollars to back the security mission to Haiti with logistical and financial assistance. On Monday, reporters asked Prime Minister John Briceño to weigh in on the discussion.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“As you all know that Haiti is a really bad state and innocent people are being murdered, women are being raped, even children are being raped. And, it is just a sense of lawlessness and I believe we in CARICOM have a moral responsibility to do something. There have been a lot of request and offers. I think Rwanda has been one of the countries that said they are prepared to send some troops to help. There has been a movement by Canada and we spoke with Canada several months ago in trying to see what we can do. Now even the U.S wants to get more involved. There is a two prong approach. One is a political one. The Prime Minister Holness from Jamaica has been organizing several meetings with the different players from Haiti. They have been brought to Jamaica, Bahamas and once to Haiti to see how we can have a consensus with all of this competing interest in Haiti. While that is happening people are suffering and getting killed. That is on the political side. On the military side, for want of a better word, the U.N. has been very careful and hesitant about going into Haiti, and likewise the Americans because the minute that happens it turns the whole issue, it is almost like the imperialist are wanting to take over Haiti, so it is felt that if we have our own, like Rwanda and Kenya, we felt that because we have a historical connection through the slave trade and  so forth that it would be easier for them to go into Haiti without having that major pushback as you see the Americans of the UN. CARICOM is expected to do their part. Belize is prepared to do a part. We have not come to the position if and when and how much we will eb able to send. But before we reach that point we have to decide that one we are not going to do it alone, but most importantly that we have the necessary wherewithal, the resources to move our troops safely, keep them safe while they are there. The initial thing is that this task force would go in to protect the essentials, the water system, and the ports and so forth so that there can be a semblance of normalcy to get the country back on its feet.”

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