Martelly Initiates the Process to Reestablish the Armed Forces in Haiti
By Dialogo November 23, 2011
On November 18, Haitian President Michel Martelly announced the creation of a civilian commission that will be in charge of preparing a calendar to reestablish that Caribbean country’s Armed Forces, dissolved 17 years ago after decades of military coups and military influence in politics.
“The presidential order creating this commission will be published, and the commission will have 40 days to prepare a plan to reestablish the Armed Forces, which should be presented on January 1,” Martelly said in a speech in Port-au-Prince.
“The commission will work wisely and with respect for the constitution, by means of consultation with different sectors,” Martelly promised at a ceremony attended by members of the government and foreign diplomats.
Several former presidents of Haiti were present, including retired General Prosper Avril, the organizer of a coup d’état in 1989.
In reference to MINUSTAH, the international mission in Haiti, the Haitian president added that, once the Armed Forces have been reestablished, “we could think about the withdrawal of the UN troops.”
Since taking office at the beginning of the year, Martelly has made it clear that he wants UN forces to withdraw from Haiti and has insisted that the country needs “modern” Armed Forces.
While the Armed Forces are being restored, Martelly said that he is thinking about reinforcing the police. “I rely on Haiti’s friends to help us in this task,” he added.
Before their dissolution 17 years ago, the Haitian Armed Forces had around 8,000 men.