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The national police, PNH

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The national police, PNH, have recently added newly minted police officers to its squad, during a graduation ceremony at the 31st class of police from the academy, which counted 631 cadet officers including 123 female officers. The graduation ceremony took place on Friday, December 17, 2021, in the presence of government officials including Prime Minister Ariel Henry, members of the Conseil supérieur de la Police nationale (CSPN) who have been stretched thin over recent years, with little to no resources available to fight the increasing and overwhelming gang activity that has gripped the country. The new officers were trained, following a rich and adapted training process that takes into consideration the current realities facing the nation in general and the force in particular. These training modules include physical preparation, public security, police administration, judicial police as well as training in intervention techniques, and maintenance of order, among others. In his speech, the director of the police academy, Inspector Jean-Jacques Marc, took the opportunity to remind the police of the imperial choice they made, the noble and difficult choice to serve others, to sacrifice their lives, and to free the captives from the chains of oppression of the criminal gangs. He said further that their choice was a priestly one which requires a life of renunciation and abnegation based on loyalty, honor, and discipline. He urged the new graduates to flee corruption to safeguard their honor. Noting that the work of the police is never easy, highly precarious, they should not expect to get rich, admonishing that if “you want to get rich, you’ve chosen the wrong profession” stressing that vetting of the officers will continue for another 24 months.

For the Minister of Justice, Berto Dorcé, this new cohort of officers will help strengthen the first pillar of public security, namely prevention with the aim of reassuring the population by their presence and dissuading thugs of all stripes. He also urges them to keep morale high in difficult situation and not repeat the deviant behavior of some of the other rogue officers, because the main recipe for having an accomplished career is none other than the scrupulous respect of the internal regulations of the PNH.

The director general of the PNH, Frantz Elbé, says he is relying on this class which, he says, will serve as a base on which the high command will build to strengthen various structures of the police institution. He called on the police to ban negligence in all its forms, because it’s imperative for them to stand firm in their actions and beliefs, avoid temptation, improper offers and advantages, overzealousness, and partisan politics. Frantz Elbé said he was working to improve the security situation in the country while wishing for a marriage between the police and the population and the other segments of the society.

Prime Minister Ariel also took the opportunity to provide a glimpse into his vision for the new officers. Following most of the speeches on integrity, dedication and honesty, the Prime Minister stressed to the police that the country is facing a situation that cannot continue, and they are coming in head first, as there’s no grace period for them but rather as soon as they get their first assignment, it will be a baptism of fire, because the security forces have orders to fight more effectively against the phenomenon of kidnapping which is still growing. On the other hand, the Prime Minister recognized that the police institution needs a lot of resources, including more equipment and training in order to face the insecurity and terrorism. Despite the limited budget, Ariel Henry is committed to making an unlimited effort in favor of the PNH. He went on to say that” the people expect a lot from you, especially courage, integrity, respect for individual rights in supporting your mission”. The need for the people to have confidence in their police force is very paramount, as the new officers begin their service at a crucial moment in the country’s history. It is their behavior which will contribute to the restoration of this confidence.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ariel Henry used the occasion to set the government’s position on sending peacekeepers, foreign troops, to help solve the problem of insecurity in Haiti. He stated categorically that “We are not asking for foreign troops to come and do the job for us. The formula has been tried in recent years and once these troops left, the situation deteriorated and worsened. As a result, there’s no appetite for calling in foreign troops to address the generally Haitian problems. This statement is in response to a Miami Herald editorial piece that called for the return of the UN forces, because according to the paper, the situation is serious and must be at the center of concerns as the Biden administration convenes a virtual meeting of international partners to address the security, political and economic challenges facing the nation. The editorial went on to say that political and economic challenges facing the country cannot be met, let alone contemplate an election, until the lack of day-to-day security is addressed, because any good intentions are wishful thinking until violent gangs are quelled, kidnappings are reduced, and the streets are safer for the ordinary people.

Finally, the remaining American and Canadian hostages kidnapped two months ago by the 400Mawozo gang have planned an escape from their captors under cover of darkness showing up at Morne -a-Cabrit, about 23 miles south of the capital Port-au-Prince. According to the Christian Aid group, the 12 missionaries pried open a locked door and left the room where they were held and silently followed a planned escape route away from their captors, while authorities were negotiating their release.

There was a 4.3 magnitude earthquake this Tuesday morning in Port-au-Prince and soon after in the South of the country where just over 4 months ago, August 19, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed a lot of property and lives. This current epicenter is located at Corail, in the Grand Anse department, according to the US geological Survey (USGS). But in the presence of all these bad news comes one important one that every son and daughter of the land can be proud of, especially around the end of the year. The UNESCO has just added soup joumou to its list of prized intangible cultural heritage items. Being on the intangible heritage list, soup joumou now has protected status by UNESCO. In its announcement, the agency said, soup joumou is a celebratory dish, deeply rooted in Haitian identity, and its preparation promotes social cohesion and belonging among communities.

Dela Harlley

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