Pope Francis joins the Haitian Bishops’ urgent appeal to criminal ganglords and conflicting parties to drop arms and allow the country to resume a journey of peace and harmony
By Linda Bordoni & James Blears
Pope Francis on Sunday called on conflicting Haitian parties and gangsters to end the spiral of violence in which the country as been plunged. Speaking during the Angelus just days after the assassination of President Jovenal Moise, and a request by the interim Prime Minister for the deployment of UN and US troops to protect key infrastructure as the government tries to stabilize the country and prepare the way for elections, the Pope said in these days his prayers have often been for Haiti and its people. “I join the heartfelt appeal of the country’s Bishops to ‘depose arms, choose life, choose to live together fraternally in the common interest of all and in the interest of Haiti,” he said. And expressing his closeness to “the beloved people of Haiti” the Pope called for an end to “the spiral of violence and that the nation may resume its journey towards a future of peace and harmony.”
Meanwhile, from her hospital bed in Miami, Martine Moise, wife of assassinated President of Haiti, gunned down by gunmen in their Port Au Prince home on Wednesday night, is urging the country not to lose its way. The First Lady was shot multiple times by mercenary gunmen, who forced their way past hapless security guards, into their home and shot her husband the President twelve times. Jovenel Moise didn’t have time to utter a single word. Critically wounded, Martine survived and has been airlifted to the United States, where she is being treated in a Miami Hospital. In a special message in Creole she says: “We cannot let the country lose its way. We cannot let his blood be spilled in vain.” Arrests, ongoing investigation So far seventeen ex Colombian soldiers and two US Haitians have been arrested, while three men were shot dead. Eight are still on the run. Investigators are trying to discover just who was behind this brazen attack, aimed at toppling Haiti’s political system.
Meanwhile, Haitian Officials are appealing to the United Nations and the United States to send peace keeping troops to help stabilize the volatile situation which has descended into a crisis. UN Peace Keepers were previously stationed in Haiti from 2004 to 2017. The US says it will not send troops, but it will send members of the FBI and Homeland Security. Haiti violent political history which stretches back centuries, is again flaring up, in the form of assassination and political chaos.
• Culled from www.vaticannews.va