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Canada sanctions former president and prime ministers of Haiti


DJERBA, Tunisia — Canada has extended its economic sanctions freezing the Canadian assets of Haitian political elites to include former President Michel Martelly and former Prime Ministers Laurent Lamothe and Jean-Henry Céant.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly this weekend accused the trio of helping gangs undermine Haiti’s current government and called on international partners to follow Canada’s lead. She made the announcement during a two-day Francophonie summit in Tunisia.

The Caribbean country is crippled by gang warfare.

“Our goal is to make sure that those people who profit from violence, who are part of a corrupt system, are held accountable,” she said.

Haitian Foreign Minister Jean Victor Généus said the new sanctions had real consequences for those causing a “nightmare” in his country.

“These sanctions will have a deterrent effect,” he said in French, as he sat between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Joly on Saturday.

The Haitian government has called for international military intervention to fight gangs that have strangled access to fuel and essential supplies amid the outbreak. Canada’s military intervention in Haiti can only take place if all political parties in the beleaguered country accept it, Trudeau said on Sunday.

The country is experiencing a rise in violence and increasingly brazen attacks by Haitian gangs that have grown more powerful since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. The chaos spurred a huge migration exodus from the island.


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