Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Commits to Collaborative Efforts for Stability in Haiti

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Leader of the ‘G9 and Family gang, Jimmy Cherizier, better known as Barbecue, shouts slogans with his gang members (Copyright 2021The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Pledges Support for Haiti’s Stability Efforts-

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The Chief of Defence Staff for Antigua and Barbuda, Colonel Telbert Benjamin, has reaffirmed the country’s commitment to assisting in restoring stability in Haiti, a French-speaking member of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) facing ongoing challenges.

Colonel Benjamin outlined plans for a collaborative effort during a recent Regional Security System security chiefs meeting held in Guyana.

He emphasized that the concerns regarding the plight of the Haitian people were extensively discussed during the meeting.

“The issue is broader than just general security; there are policing issues as well that need addressing. Our approach, in collaboration with regional partners, involves joint contingencies to address both the serious security needs and the policing needs,” Colonel Benjamin stated.

This reaffirmation of support from the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force underscores the regional commitment to assisting Haiti in overcoming its security challenges and fostering stability for its people.

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According to AP, More than 53,000 people have fled Haiti’s capital in less than three weeks, the vast majority to escape unrelenting gang violence, according to a United Nations report released Tuesday.

More than 60% are headed to Haiti’s rural southern region, which worries U.N. officials.

“Our humanitarian colleagues emphasized that these departments do not have sufficient infrastructure, and host communities do not have sufficient resources, to cope with the large number of people fleeing Port-au-Prince,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The southern region already hosts more than 116,000 Haitians who previously left Port-au-Prince, according to the report by the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration.

The exodus from the capital of some 3 million people began shortly after powerful gangs launched a series of attacks on government institutions at the end of February. Gunmen have burned police stations, opened fire on the main international airport that remains closed and stormed Haiti’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates.

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