Martelly Says He Will Form Army With or Without Help
- Monday, October 17, 2011 11:35 AM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - President of the Republic, Michel Martelly, says he will advance plans to establish an army with or without support.
In a quote recorded by jounalists, the Head of State told reporters, in regards to the mobilizing the Armed Force of Haiti (FADH):
"I do not want people to think I'm going to start without them... but I will start without them, if they do not come forward..."
The president's call to mobilize the armed forces has been met by some opposition. Senator of the Nord, MoÃ¯se Jean-Charles, believes Martelly is building the force to maintain power beyond his term of office.
Senator of the Nippes, Jean William Jeanty, believes "Haiti, without a strong system of justice, law enforcement, education or a press, should not put building an army as its priority at this time." Senator of the Artibonite, Youri Latortue, has shown concerns for the manner in which an army is formed, saying that participation from the judicial and legislative branches of government is the only way.
As well, the United States, State Department also expressed reservations of the president's plans saying:
"the way forward is really to focus on the Haitian National Police and its ability to become stronger more effective and improving the ability to do business... our focus is on the Haitian National Police as the structure and the force must be strengthened."
According to a 22-page document, entitled "Policy of Defense and National Security - The Great Axes," Martelly wants the new army to consist of 3,500 uniformed personnel and be set up between now and late 2014, by which time most of the 12,000-strong UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) would have been gradually withdrawn.
Related 10.14.2011: UN Security Council Agrees to Withdraw 3,000 Peacekeepers from Haiti
Related 10.06.2011: U.S. State Dept Official: "Haiti Should Concentrate on Police, Not Army"
Related 10.05.2011: Senator Jean-Charles Warns of a Martelly Dictatorship
Related 10.01.2011: Aristide Supporters Rally to Mark Anniversary of 1991 Coup
Related 09.29.2011: Martelly Hopes to Recruit 500 Soldiers in October
Related 09.29.2011: Senator Latortue on the Side of Caution in Forming an Army
Related 09.28.2011: President Martelly Plans for Haitian Security Forces Leaked
Related 09.27.2011: Senate Resolution Aims to End U.N. Peacekeeping Mission by October 2012
Source: Washington Post