TrueNewsblog | Tuesday December 14, 2021
By: Jacqueline DESROSIERS:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – A day after the MONTANA GROUP held an event swearing in members of the CNT, (Conseil National De Transition) hoping to eventually form a transition government in Haiti to take over from Dr. Ariel Henry, the prime minister de facto, U.S. CHARGE D’AFFAIRES to Haiti KENNETH MERTEN, told a local radio station that “the only way to move this country forward is to reach a national consensus where all the political factions can get together to reach a solution to end the political crisis.” The MONTANA ACCORD consists of former Haitian government officials from the days of Aristide government who undoubtedly have been part of creating the current problems in Haiti. They have refused to participate in the HAITI UNITY SUMMIT proposed by the Haitian Diaspora Political Action Committee, (HDPAC).
The imposition of a solution by one group is a recipe for further political and social unrest. That is why HDPAC and The International community believe that only a negotiated solution by all parties will move Haiti forward. The American charge d’Affaires, Kenneth H. Merten, in an interview with radio Ginen in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, stated that the country needs “a fusion of all the accords” he said. “In our analysis,” continued Merten, “this is what Haiti needs. We encourage everyone to come to an agreement to move the country forward. This is the only way, according to our logic, to resolve the political situation.”
The US diplomat pointed out that there is the MONTANA GROUP, the 9/11 Accord and other actors (PEN, CESCO, ACCORD LARI A) that have developed exit plans, he said, speaking publicly for the first time since the reshuffling of Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s cabinet.
The Haiti Unity Summit offers the parties the best opportunity to resolve the crisis. It offers a secure site where all the protagonists can sit down and engage in a constructive dialogue that results in a solution to the crisis. The international community, notably the U.S. State Department supports this process and has committed to respecting the group’s consensual resolution. As Brian Nichols, the Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere, told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee “This must be a Haitian-led solution.”
The Haitian Diaspora believes that only an agreement negotiated with the participation of all the protagonists will give the new interim government the legitimacy it needs to organize honest, free, and fair elections that will lead the country back to the path of democracy.
The Haitian Diaspora Interest Group has held several meetings with members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate seeking Congressional support for the Haiti Unity Summit. So far, they have received the support of many members of Congress including Senators who are high ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Summit will be facilitated by the highly decorated Lt. General Russell L. Honoré (ret.).
Mr. Merten’s statement echoed the Haitian Diaspora’s belief that only a negotiated solution that includes everyone would provide the political stability to move the country forward. The MONTANA GROUP is just one group and does not represent most Haitians. Beside the MONTANA GROUP, there are the PEN Accord, CESCO ACCORD, ACCORD LARI A, and the non-affiliated groups who have every right to participate and be heard about the future of their country.
“The U.S. States Department is still waiting for Haitian political actors, civil society, the private sector, religious leaders and the diaspora to find a Haitian-led solution to pave the way for elections when conditions on the ground allow”, said Kenneth Merten, who fears that the Haiti will miss out on economic opportunities “because of political problems”. The Haitian Diaspora Political Action Committee in conjunction with the 2021 Haitian Diaspora Interest Group, have proposed the best way to resolve the crisis.
From January 9 to January 13, 2022, HDPAC will hold the HAITI UNITY SUMMIT at Southern University Law Center, Nelson Mandela Center for Public Policy, and all parties include the MONTANA GROUP will be invited to participate. Dignitaries such the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD will be invited as keynote speaker, in addition to other international dignitaries.
The solutions must be found by the Haitians, for the Haitians, insisted Kenneth H Merten. “We do not want to interfere in the affairs of Haitians. We were accused of interference. We won’t do it again. We haven’t done that before. That’s what I want to emphasize, “Merten said with a smile.” “We do not want to be accused of meddling,” continued the American diplomat, who expressed his concerns about the insecurity. “Haitians cannot move around freely. This poses a big problem for businesses, for every Haitian citizen, ” Merten said.
During an interview with EMMANUEL ROY, the Executive Director of HDPAC, he stated “I encourage all the parties to put aside their personal interests and focus on what is best for Haiti. The Montana Group is one of several accords, they cannot pretend to represent everyone, they must sit down and negotiate a solution that could be implemented and enforced.”