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#Africa4Haiti #DontForgetHaiti
Mar 22 – Apr 03, 2024
don't foget haiti

meredith beall

With the world’s attention focused on Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, and other matters, we must not forget about Haiti. Africa owes a great debt to Haiti as the pioneering state in the African liberation movement, the only state in history established by a successful slave revolt. It also is the first nation in the Caribbean and the third oldest democracy in the western hemisphere.

The small, Caribbean nation of Haiti is experiencing a crisis demanding the world’s urgent attention. In addition to the myriad of problems that the Haitian people have faced from hurricanes and earthquakes, the Haitians have experienced ostracism by the international community, assassination of their leaders, corruption, and a host of other issues.
I feel like Haiti is still being punished for defeating Napoleon and the French.
Haiti's economic and social development continues to be hindered by political instability and unprecedented levels of insecurity, impacting the most vulnerable element of the population. Haiti remains the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean region and among the poorest countries in the world. I feel like Haiti is still being punished for defeating Napoleon and the French.

Despite these daunting, pressing issues, the Haitian people remain resilient. However, the security situation in the country has deteriorated into a humanitarian crisis as the government is no longer functioning effectively in terms of its ability to protect the citizenry and the presence of dozens of violent gangs have ushered Haiti into a period of lawlessness and near chaos. The Haitian people call on their brothers and sisters throughout the African world for assistance.

Many want to help the people of Haiti and there are differing views and opinions about what could and should be done. There are those opposed to sending peace-keeping forces who believe they should be left to solve the problems themselves. Others feel that the only way the Haitian people can break free of the grip of other people’s agendas is with the combined clout and moral authority of a multi-national African force.

CARICOM, the economic bloc of Caribbean nations issued a statement in support of the deployment. I recommended that either the Heads of State or the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the deploying nations go together to Guyana to meet with CARICOM so that everyone is on the same page, walking hand in hand to support our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Any intervention has to be far more than policing. Any engagement must include addressing fundamental economic and social issues as well as re-establishing credible elections.

President William Ruto, of the Republic of Kenya, volunteered to spearhead a humanitarian mission in support of the people of Haiti. On Monday, October 2, 2023, the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 2699 the deployment of international forces led by Kenya to support Haiti’s national police in curbing escalating gang violence and restore security in the country. Jamaica, Barbados, Benin, Chad, The Bahamas and Bangladesh are part of this and I’m sure several others will join by the time of deployment.

Despite the fact that President Ruto initiated the idea and volunteered Kenya, and that it is an African initiative, the perception in many circles and rumblings on social media and on the ground in Haiti give the impression that the mission is a western-driven effort, orchestrated by the so-called Core Group — consisting of the United Nations, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the European Union, the United States, and the Organization of American States. I’ve even seen ridiculous “news” reports that Kenya is “invading Haiti.”

You may recall that recently, the Transitional Government in Somalia invited Ethiopian troops to support as part of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia. But because of misinformation and poor communication, when the Ethiopian troops arrived, many Somalis thought that Ethiopia was invading Somalia and battles began, killing Ethiopian troops. The message that Ethiopia was coming to help didn’t get through.

I and my colleague, Edward Githaiga Muito, formed the unity initiative Africa4Haiti as a cultural diplomacy effort.
In order to counter this narrative and misinformation, to avoid a similar misconception and its consequences, to increase global awareness of Haiti’s plight and to galvanize the world’s empathy, I and my colleague, Edward Githaiga Muito, formed the unity initiative Africa4Haiti as a cultural diplomacy effort. It is a series of cultural activities, interventions and public awareness movements globally. Florida is the U.S. state with the most Haitians and New York is the city with the largest Haitian population. I proposed a one-day rally held simultaneously

in New York and Miami streamed live globally, organized by Haitian diaspora citizens located in those places, with logistical support provided by deployment countries. We also will conduct a series of symposiums, lectures and workshops over the next year on Haiti, freedom, democracy & human rights at various universities in the Caribbean, the United States, Africa, and South America.

Africa4Haiti is an African response to the call of the Haitian people. #Africa4Haiti #DontForgetHaiti

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