Tue | Mar 19, 2019

Western countries express concern about political situation in Haiti

Published:Monday | February 11, 2019 | 9:54 AM
CMC photo

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti,  CMC – Several Western countries have condemned the “unacceptable acts of violence” in Haiti over the last weekend as opposition parties continue to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise from office.

The Core Group, comprising Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the European Union, the United States of America, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Organization of American States, said that it had taken note of the demands being expressed by the demonstrators.

“The Core Group deplores the loss of life and property damage caused by the unacceptable acts of violence that took place on the margins of the rallies while acknowledging the professionalism demonstrated by the Haitian National Police as a whole,” it said in a statement.

The Group said it was calling for all stakeholders in Haiti, including its leaders “to engage in a constructive and inclusive dialogue in order to identify and implement realistic and lasting solutions to the political and economic crisis currently occurring in Haiti.

“In this regard, the Group encourages the government to accelerate its structural reforms aimed at promoting a better management of the State’s resources, improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable, fight inequalities, and foster a conducive investment climate to stimulate the development of productive sectors – essential to catalysing the country’s growth.”

Opposition political parties have been staging street demonstrations in support of their calls for President 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. They are also demanding fresh elections and jobs.

But Moise has dismissed the calls for him to resign.

On Sunday, demonstrators burnt tyres and sporadic gunshots were heard forcing the closure of many businesses.

Several vehicles vandalised while others were burnt, shop windows were smashed and public buildings looted.

Police also clashed with protesters near the airport and used tear gas to regain control of the situation.

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