The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has expressed concern over the security breakdown in Haiti amid reports that police officers on Thursday blocked streets and forced their way into the country’s main airport to protest the recent killing of officers by armed gangs.
In a statement on Saturday, CARICOM said it was deeply concerned that the contrasting incidents involving the Haitian national Police indicate the severity of the challenges that the police face and further breakdown in security in Haiti.
“CARICOM strongly condemns the killing of police officers and expresses its condolences to the families of the officers who lost their lives in the line of duty,” the statement said.
“The anger and dismay of the Police at the gruesome killings of their colleagues, 78 killed since July 2021 and 14 to date this January, are shared by all,” the release stated.
However, it declared that abandoning the role of the security forces to protect every citizen and maintain public order further destabilises the country.
As a result, CARICOM observed that a the police actions against the Prime Minister cannot be condoned.
CARICOM urged the Haitian National Police members to safeguard peace and order and refrain from actions that could only serve to foster even greater damage to the country and its people.
Reuters, quoting witnesses, reported that protesters in civilian clothes who identified themselves as Police first attacked Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s official residence and then flooded the airport as Henry arrived from a trip to Argentina.
The Police have accused Henry of inaction amid attacks on officers.
The United Nations is considering sending troops to stabilise Haiti during its crisis.
Headline photo: Haiti protest – Stock image