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Canada Issues Statement On Situation In Haiti

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland.

Canada Issues Statement On Situation In Haiti

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, December 5, 2018 (CMC) – Canada has called on the political parties in Haiti to find a solution to the ongoing political situation.

Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and International Development Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, in a joint statement, said the North American country “is very concerned about the recent civil unrest in Haiti and is deeply saddened by the loss of life.

“We wish to express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and injured Haitians,” the ministers said, adding “while peaceful protests are part of a healthy democracy, politically-motivated acts of violence have no place in the democratic process”.

“We call on all parties to work toward finding a solution,” the ministers said.

Police have maintained a strong presence in Haiti’s capital, Port Au Prince, and Interior Minister, Jean-Marie Reynaldo Brunet, said the government had outlined new measures that would allow members of the population to go freely about their activities.

The opposition parties have been staging street demonstrations, in support of their calls for President Jovenel Moise to step down, after accusing him of not investigating allegations of corruption in the previous government, over PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil, on conditions of preferential payment.

But in a radio and television broadcast, last week, Moise dismissed calls for his resignation.

Protestors burn tires in the streets in Haiti. Photo credit: Caribbean Media Corp.

Protestors burn tires in the streets in Haiti. Photo credit: Caribbean Media Corp.

The United States has also issued a statement on the situation in Haiti, as it authorized the departure of non-emergency government personnel and their families from the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

Washington said protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable.

It added that violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common and that the local police may lack the resources to respond, effectively, to serious criminal incidents, noting that emergency response, including ambulance service, is limited or non-existent.

In its statement, the United States said it was advising citizens to reconsider their travel to Haiti.

“Travelers are sometimes targeted, followed, and violently attacked and robbed, shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. The U.S. Embassy requires its personnel to use official transportation to and from the airport, and it takes steps to detect surveillance and deter criminal attacks during these transports.”

Washington said it has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens, in some areas of Haiti, and is discouraging its personnel from walking in most neighbourhoods.

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