Haiti’s prime minister Céant calls for truce ahead of Christmas celebrations

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant has called for a truce to street demonstrations by opposition parties as the country prepare to celebrate the Christmas holidays.

Appeal to patriotism

“I appeal to the patriotism of all, to surpass ourselves so as to offer the population a climate of lull to allow him to approaching these feasts with more serenity,” Céant said.

The opposition parties have been staging street demonstrations in support of their calls for President Jovenel Moise to step down, after accusing him of not investigating allegations of corruption in the previous government over PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.

Several people have died as a result of the protests and western countries, including the United States have authorized the departure of non-emergency government personnel and their families from the country.

Last month, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau in a joint statement said the North American country “is very concerned about the … civil unrest in Haiti and is deeply saddened by the loss of life.

In making his call for the truce, Prime Minister Céant said “our divergences, whatever their motivations and legitimacy may be, have basically very little weight against the harsh reality of our collective dismay”.

Joint declaration signed

His statement follows a similar call made last week by 40 political parties closely associated with the government that adopted a joint declaration signed in Pétion-ville, a suburb in the capital, calling for a Christmas truce.

The parties said they hoped their call would contribute to creating a climate of peace and provide an opportunity for an environment where the talks with the various stakeholders could take place.

“UrbAyiti” program

Meanwhile, government and the European Union have launched the “UrbAyiti” program aimed at supporting urban development in the country.

The government said it is hoped that the EURO 52.5 million (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) program over the next four years will result in a better urban environment, risk mitigation works, better access to water and new urban infrastructure such as roads, drainage, public spaces or bridges.

“The European Union is supporting the government in a two-pronged approach : to improve living conditions in the city center by helping to revive the Haitian capital and bring hope to the cities of Les Cayes, Jérémie, Dame- Marie and Beaumont to create places of life that allow the people of the province to live well at home rather than indignity in Port-au-Prince,” Prime Minister Céant urging the end to the demonstrations.

The EU Ambassador to Haiti, Vincent Degert, said “after the earthquake of 2010, the European Union, with its partners, sought to re-develop nine neighborhoods in Haiti, through a global approach to improve, in addition to homes, the entire living environment of a neighborhood with access to water, electricity and new collective infrastructure, among other things.

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