The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the development yesterday Thursday two warships off Haiti “within weeks”.

The two frigates will be assigned “surveillance” mission and “information gathering”will guarantee the “naval presence” of Canada in the waters of the country in crisis, he clarified from Nassau, in the Bahamas, where the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was being held.

During a press conference after the summit, Mr. Trudeau emphasized that the frigates “they will support the Haitian police in their actions to counter gang activity» that plague the country.

Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk called on the international community to consider “eurgently deploy an international special support force” in Haiti, where gang violence is at a level “unprecedented in decades”.

The gangs, which control more than half of the territory, commit daily kidnappings of citizens and demand tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars from the relatives of their victims to release them, while the hostages are often sexually abused.

Canada “is very concerned about unrest and instability” in Haiti, a country “faced with unrelenting gang violence, political unrest and corruptionPrime Minister Trudeau noted.

This situation concerns us all, not only in the region, but also in Canada, where we have a large Haitian diaspora“, he added after his one-on-one meeting with Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henri.

“Terrible cost”

During the interview after the CARICOM summit, the Prime Minister of Canada, speaking in English, pointed out the responsibilities “of Haiti’s few powerful “elite” families fueling instability“, “they fund violence for their own benefit, at a terrible cost to the Haitian people».

He announced that Ottawa and its allies would increase pressure on this group of people, insisting that “until the Haitian elites are held accountable for their role in this horrific crisis, we will not be able to deal with it».

Canada has imposed sanctions on former Haitian president Michel Martelly, two former prime ministers, and the country’s only billionaire, Gilbert Biggio, among others.

A total of 17 Haitians are being sanctioned by Canada, according to Justin Trudeau. He referred to the imposition of sanctions on two others, whom he did not name.

“There are reasons to believe that these people are taking advantage of their status as members of the Haitian elite to protect armed criminal organizations and facilitate their activities, such as drug trafficking, and corruption,” the Canadian prime minister said in French.

Earlier, Mr. Trudeau announced C$12.3 billion (€8.36 million) in humanitarian aid to Haiti and another $10 million to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to help migrants and refugees in the area.

In early February, Canada deployed a military aircraft with surveillance and intelligence-gathering capabilities for several days to assist Haitian authorities.

“We are working closely to help.”

Later yesterday, the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced sanctions on 12 persons allegedly linked to crime in Haiti.

In October, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres conveyed to the Security Council Haitian Prime Minister Henri’s call for an international special-purpose armed rapid response force to be deployed to assist the police.

However, although some countries hinted that they were willing to participate, none seemed willing to take the initiative, to be at the head of it.

Most eyes remain on Washington and Ottawa.

However, there are still several hesitations as large part of the population opposes the deployment of foreign forces, such as that of the United Nations peacekeepers who were deployed in Haiti from 2004 to 2017 and accused of heaps of gross human rights violationsas well as that he carried the cholera bacterium into the country.