Barbados late on Tuesday formally declared it will contribute “security personnel” to the proposed United Nations Security Council-authorised multinational security force for Haiti.
The deployment is to be closely coordinated with the Regional Security System (RSS), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a brief, late-night statement. The RSS, a 30-year-old defence pact uniting mostly Eastern Caribbean forces is based here.
The CARICOM member nation of approximately 11 million people has been gripped by a deepening political crisis since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021 and the absence of a functioning, elected government. Heavily armed gangs now roam cities and villages dispensing rough justice and prompting bloody reprisals.
Since April, more than 250 suspected gangsters have been killed in Haiti as part of the Bwa Kale movement, which was launched by people in various parts of the country to combat the armed gangs in their neighbourhoods.
The foreign ministry did not specify the size and make-up of the deployment of “security personnel” or whether it would involve Barbados Defence Force soldiers and sailors alone, Barbados Police Service officers or a combined detachment.
Bridgetown has also pledged to provide “training and capacity-building” to the Haitian government. “These efforts will be guided by mutually identified objectives aimed at bolstering Haiti’s security and stability,” the foreign ministry added.
The announcement comes on the heels of Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week, in which she urged the UN Security Council to grant a robust mandate to the multinational force.
Mottley also suggested the formation of a “comprehensive, enduring development plan” for Haiti, with unified, sustained backing from the international community.