A lasting solution to the crisis in Haiti will have to come from within that country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.
Trudeau made the comments on his final day at the UN as he sat down with Ariel Henry, Haiti’s embattled acting prime minister.
Trudeau announced an additional $80 million in humanitarian aid and security help for the overmatched Haitian national police.
Canada is also imposing fresh sanctions against three more members of Haiti’s corruption-riven business community, bringing the total to 29 to date.
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During a wrap-up news conference on Thursday, Trudeau would not directly answer a question about whether Canada would participate in a multinational mission to directly intervene in the country’s crisis.
“The only lasting solutions will come through working with the Haitian people themselves, empowering the Haitian people themselves to direct and take responsibility for the future,” he told reporters.
“That’s why I called upon Prime Minister Henry today to do much more, to create political unity and consensus around international support and perhaps interventions.”
Trudeau acknowledged that along with development and humanitarian aid, it could take “security and perhaps military aid” to stabilize what he called the ongoing “cataclysmic situation.”
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But he would not stipulate what Canada’s role could be.
Trudeau and Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, also presided over an ad hoc advisory group of UN delegates trying to chart a path forward.
“Within Haiti, there is no solution to this situation from outside,” Trudeau said earlier Thursday.
“We have a role to play from outside but we need to see more dialogue, more consensus-building within Haiti and around the Haitian people.”
Violent gangs have run rampant since the 2021 assassination of president Jovenel Moise, blockading fuel deliveries and terrorizing locals, all in the midst of a cholera outbreak.
Last fall, Henry asked for a military intervention to clear out the gangs and allow for humanitarian aid, ramping up pressure on Canada from the UN and allies like the U.S. to take the lead.
Kenya has since stepped forward to offer to fill that gap, and the U.S. is reportedly set to ask the UN Security Council to approve sending a multinational force into the country.
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