Jamaica willing to send police, soldiers to Haiti to help restore peace

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The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has signalled that Jamaica would be willing to participate in a multinational security team that could be deployed to Haiti to assist in efforts to restore stability to the country torn by gang violence.

In a parliamentary statement on Tuesday, the prime minister said he has already alerted the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) about the possibility of such aid.

“Both the JDF and the JCF have been alerted to this possible course of support and they would have started to plan for such eventualities as part of their routine situational awareness and response awareness,” Holness said.

He said that the country reaffirms its commitment to working with CARICOM and bilateral partners such as Canada, the United States and the wider international community towards achieving sustainable solutions for the situation in Haiti.

The prime minister noted that Jamaica and Haiti have enjoyed longstanding good relations and partnerships as neighbours.

Holness said that the Government and Jamaicans, in general, are deeply concerned about the humanitarian and security crisis being faced by the people of Haiti.

“The people of Haiti continue to have their human rights threatened by powerful gangs and militias which carry out heinous crimes, including murder, kidnappings and violence against women and children.”

Holness also condemned the killing of more than a dozen police officers by criminal gangs in Haiti.

In his comments Leader of the Opposition Mark Golding said that it was in Jamaica’s interest that Haiti be restored to a functional democratic system of government.

He said that the security within Haiti and its borders should be put on a footing where criminal elements don’t hold sway.

Golding said he supported the Government’s efforts to assist in trying to restore peace to the country crippled by gang violence.

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