Canada offers to help UN military intervention in Haiti


Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly says Canada is determining how it can best help with an international military intervention in Haiti, leaving it unclear whether this will involve a military role for Canada.

The United Nations Security Council approved a multinational force Monday to help combat violent gangs in Haiti, which Kenya has offered to lead.

Joly says she’s spoken with her counterpart from Kenya as well as Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae, on how Canada can be of help.

Haiti’s unelected prime minister asked for an international intervention last year, and the idea has been divisive among Haitians though it is supported by the UN and Washington.

Joly notes that Ottawa has always been involved in issues pertaining to Haiti, and says she expects Canada will do more, but isn’t specifying what kind of Canadian help has been offered.

Haiti has faced a profound security crisis exacerbated by brazen criminal gangs since mid-2021, leading to rampant violence, cholera outbreaks and restricted access to water, food and medical care.

Joly has issued sanctions on multiple political and economic elite in Haiti, arguing this will help lead to a consensus among political actors on how other countries can best support Haitians to find stability and eventually hold an election.

“Canada has always been involved in issues related to Haiti. We will continue to be,” Joly told reporters Tuesday morning on Parliament Hill, in French.

“We want to do more. So we’ll thus continue these diplomatic conversations, and I would say that we’ll also continue to support solutions that are by and for Haitians.”

Washington had asked Canada to lead a military intervention, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it’s unclear whether such a move would lead to long-term stability, citing multiple previous interventions that he argued made Haiti even less stable.

Canada’s top military general told media in March that there weren’t enough armed forces available to lead such a mission.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2023.

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