Finally, an accord has been reached for the creation of the transitional government that will be in place for 22 months until a newly elected government takes over on February 7, 2026. The accord was finalized late Friday after several days of discussions, and subsequently published in the official gazette, Le Moniteur. The 14-page document, entitled Political Agreement for a Peaceful and Orderly Transition” Accord politique pour une transition pacifique et ordonnée, was signed on April 3, 2024, and lays out the main policies to be carried out by the transition in the next 22 months. The transition aims to reconcile the State with the nation, return to constitutional order and uphold the defense of the country’s interests in the new world order. They further aspire to put the country back on the path to dignity, democratic legitimacy, stability, and sovereignty and ensure the proper functioning of state institutions. The Presidential transitional council included the following voting members: Leslie Voltaire (Fanmi Lavalas), Emmanuel Vertilaire (Pitit Desalin), Edgard Leblanc fils (Collectif des partis politiques du 30 janvier 2023), Fritz Alphonse Jean (Accord de Montana), Smith Augustin (la plateforme Résistance démocratique/Engagés pour le développement (Red/Ede) et le regroupement politique Compromis Historique), Louis Gérald Gilles (l’Accord du 21 décembre 2022), and Laurent St Cyr representing employers’ associations and groups of Haitian businesses. The two non-voting members are Régine Abraham (Rassemblement pour une entente nationale (Ren) / Inter-Foi), and Frinel Joseph, representing civil society groups.

Some of the details of the stipulations of the mandate include the completion of the said mandate on February 7, 2026, and there cannot be an extension of the mandate which begins from the day of the swearing in. The council will be coordinated by one of its members serving as President of the Council and will be chosen or elected by his/her peers. The 5 main axes or projects of the transition will be public and national security; economic recovery, infrastructure rehabilitation, food, and health security; a national conference and the constitutional question; the rule of law and justice; elections for the renewal of political personnel. The main points in the transition roadmap include the adoption of measures aimed at restoring security for the Haitian people; the reform and strengthening of national security forces; the restoration and sanitation of state institutions; the implementation of the necessary transitional reforms; strengthening state institutions to fight corruption and impunity; the preparation of an economic plan to support humanitarian and economic recovery, in particular food security within the framework of a public-private-associative partnership and the definition with international partners of the conditions and modalities for the deployment of a multinational Mission of security.

Structures will be put in place as part of the execution of the roadmap, including a National Security Council (CNS) made up of national experts, professionals from the diaspora and other personalities to provide a response to the various aspects of the country’s security crises. A Steering Committee will be formed with the mission of leading a National Conference. A Truth, Justice and Reparation Commission will be set up to “shed light on blood crimes, financial crimes, the numerous massacres, the multiple gang rapes perpetrated in the country in recent years, to give Justice and the Executive the necessary elements to act. Finally, a specialized financial prosecutor’s office will oversee serious economic and financial crimes, dealing with attacks on public finances, probity, and the proper functioning of financial markets.

In other news, the UN Expert on Human Rights in Haiti, William O’Neil called Port-au-Prince an “open air prison” where crime and gang violence is the number one challenge facing the nation. Speaking on April 2, 2024, before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, Mr. O’Neil said Port-au-Prince and its surroundings which constitute the economic, political and health center of the country has been transformed by the crimes that residents are constrained to stay in their homes for fear of falling victim to gang violence or kidnappings. He calls on all countries to stop the flow of arms and ammunition into the country. Justin Viard, the Haitian Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, on the other hand, asked the international community and the Haitian authorities to act together to fight both against armed gangs and against the root causes of the crises including widespread unemployment, a failing education system and food insecurity. 

As for Volker Türk, the UN Hight Commissioner on Human Rights, the Haitian population can no longer wait, faced with the escalation of armed violence which has had devastating effects on them and their loved ones. He reported a shocking increase in murders and kidnappings in the country and noted a pervasiveness of sexual violence particularly against women and girls. He went on to call for emergency measures to be taken to restore a certain degree of public order to prevent violence from further harming the population and to ensure access to vital humanitarian aid. Between January 1 and March 20, 2024, 1,434 people died and 797 others were injured in gang-related violence across the country. And from Friday March 8th through Wednesday, March 27th, more than 53,000 were forced to leave the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area to seek refuge in the south because of the gang violence. According to the international refugee organization, there have been more than 360,000 internally displaced persons in the country since 2023. 

Finally, the diaspora is also taking steps to position itself to contribute to the rebuilding of the country once the situation subsides. Its in this vein that the first edition of the International Financial Summit was held on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at the Miami Airport Convention Center. From the outset, lawyer Frandley Julien, well known within the Haitian diaspora in Miami, launched discussions on the interest of already thinking beyond the current Haitian crisis, to properly assess the potential contribution of the diaspora in the search for political and economic solutions and to calmly reflect on its best implications for the socio-economic development of the country. Talking about the financing of the Haitian economy from direct investments from the diaspora, Economist Kesner Pharel from Group Croissance, questioned the integration of the diaspora in the decision-making process by asking whether the diaspora is invited to the table or even to the room when decisions about the country are being held. According to him, the contribution of the Haitian diaspora or foreign direct foreign investment is estimated US$4bn, which is four times higher than that of the entire international group made up of donors and financial backers. As such, Haitian diaspora represents the first international community of support for the country, according to the rector of l’Université de Quisqueya, M. Jacky Lumarque.

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