Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that a clear plan of action was required before any operation to help Haiti can move forward, a day after his government dispatched a group to assess the humanitarian and security crisis in the Caribbean country.
In Winnipeg, Trudeau told reporters, “I’m really glad that there is such great interest by the Caribbean countries to be part of any solution.” But of course, we need to have a clear plan of action before we develop any kind of mission.
When asked, neither Trudeau nor his defense minister, who was also at the news conference, responded as to whether Canada would be willing to deploy its armed forces as security in a Haiti mission.
“We are making sure that we have all information before we take a decision,” said Defense Minister Anita Anand, seemingly leaving the door open to the possibility.
Haiti’s government is pleading for military assistance from abroad to confront gangs who have blocked the entrance to a fuel terminal in the capital Port-au-Prince. The blockade has led to shortages of gasoline and diesel and halted most transport, in turn creating shortages of basic goods, including clean water.
On Thursday, during an official visit from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Ottawa, Canada said it had sent officials to Haiti to assess the situation, saying it will not sit idly by while gangs threaten women and children there.
Also on Thursday, the United States said it was confident of securing a U.N. Security Council resolution and finding nations to lead a task force in early November to address the crisis in Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas.
So far, no country has offered to lead the force, though the Bahamas has said it could send troops or police if asked to do so.
Trudeau on Friday said the key to any mission would be the support “from the Haitian people and the Haitian government and opposition parties, and a consensus about how we can make sure that as we help the Haitian people, we are ensuring a stronger future for them.”