Haiti is About to Collapse


Reuters Former police officer Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier, leader of the 'G9' gang alliance, is flanked by gang members after a press conference in Delmas 6, Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 5, 2024.


Daniel Whyte III: Because America Did Not Do Anything When It Had a Chance, Haiti is About to Collapse

U.S. government officials have grown alarmed that the Haiti National Police could begin to crumble within hours — and that a long-planned multinational mission led by Kenya to provide reinforcements may not be enough to save the country from a complete descent into gang control.

Outgunned Haitian police have been battling a united front of gangs and losing key firefights. Now, a potential power void and a collapse of the Haitian government that had already faced a skeptical public risks undermining whatever morale is left among the police forces.

“The government could fall at any time,” a U.S. official told McClatchy, speaking on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss the government assessment. “If the HNP dissolves as an effective counterforce, if we see the airport or the presidential palace fall, it’s over.”

The Biden administration is moving urgently to expedite the deployment of a Multinational Security Support mission, or MSS, that has been in the works for over a year and a half. Kenya has pledged to lead the mission and committed 1,000 police officers to the effort last fall.

But the force size of the Haiti National Police is “orders of magnitude less than required,” the U.S. official added. Adding 1,000 more boots on the ground — even if they are well-armed, well-trained, and deployed immediately — is unlikely to meet the demands of the crisis.

The Biden administration has ruled out contributing U.S. forces to the mission, with Pentagon leadership fiercely opposed to any deployment.

“The situation in Port-au-Prince remains extremely fragile as sporadic attacks have continued and all flights in and out of Haiti remain canceled,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday. “The Secretary-General reiterates the need for urgent action, including financing for the Multinational Security Support mission, to tackle the security needs of the people of Haiti.”


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