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Trinidad and Tobago Police officers. (CMC file photo)

T&T not providing military assistance to Haiti

April 2, 2024

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government Tuesday said that it would not be providing any military assistance to ensure security in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country of Haiti, where criminal gangs are seeking to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry.

Last month, Henry travelled to Kenya where he signed an agreement that would allow the African country to lead a United Nations Security Council sanctioned Multinational Security Mission (MSS) to restore peace and security in Haiti.

Last October, the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of the MSS to back Haiti’s beleaguered police force, which Kenya offered to lead. A 2022 sanctions regime, targeting gang leaders and their financiers, was also renewed.

But in January, the Kenya High Court ruled against sending troops to Haiti as part of the Multinational Security Mission (MSS) to restore peace and security in Haiti.

The High Court ruled the deployment, initially expected by January, unconstitutional in the absence of a “reciprocal arrangement” with the host government.

But according to the “reciprocal arrangement”  signed in Nairobi, Kenya hopes it will satisfy the  court’s objections to its plan to send 1,000 police officers to Port au Prince.

Speaking at a news conference here, Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister, Dr. Amery Browne, told reporters that the government had taken a position regarding sending troops to join the MSS.

“Trinidad and Tobago has been in support of action to treat with the Haiti situation. We have provided financial  support as well as human resources to CARICOM Good Offices efforts, to the Eminent Persons Group and to the other diplomatic foundation that has been laid in preparation for the Multinational Force,” said Browne, flanked by the Minister of National Security, Fitzgerald Hinds.

He said with respect to the “contributions of boots on the ground as it were, the Prime Minister has made it very clear that is the current position of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, that we are not in a position to contribute military forces, police officers or boots on the ground at this stage for that particular effort.

“So that position is maintained,” he told reporters, adding that he would be joining CARICOM leaders virtually on Tuesday to discuss the Haiti situation and “to receive updates and to contribute to CARICOM and further interface with that very concerning crisis”.

The Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda are the other CARICOM countries that have already indicated a willingness to assit the MSS in carrying out its mandate.

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