Haiti’s President Seeks Solution on Former Soldiers Occupying Army Sites
Above: Protesters against UN Peacekeepers in Haiti last month. President Martelly has called for the establishment of a new army to eventually replace MINUSTAH (UN Photo/Logan Abassi)
Above: President Michel Martelly (Photo: OP)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A number of gunmen in military fatigues have recently been occupying the former barracks of the former Armed Forces of Haiti, along with other Haitian government sites.
President Michel Martelly said their presence at the sites, armed and wearing military fatigues, was “prohibited,” and has vowed to deal with the situation.
The Armed Forces of Haiti was disbanded in 1995.
The President held a meeting this week with a number of Haitian officials aiming to find a resolution to the problem.
According to the General Secretariat of the Presidency, the government has designated representatives to restructure the Office of Demobilized Soldiers, which was established in 2004.
Their objective is to ensure the smooth process of military compensation, to meet with some of those occupying the sites and listen to their grievances, and make formal injunctions against their occupying the sites.
Martelly has been calling for a new Haitian army, a proposal which has met resistance from the United Nations Security Council, which discussed the topic with him during their visit to Haiti in February.
Martelly has said that an army and a strengthened national police will be the only way to fill the security vacuum to be left when the UN Peacekeeping Force eventually leaves Haiti.