WASHINGTON, D.C.—Who will rule Haiti in the midst of its worst lawlessness? Will the Haitian people decide or will international influence rule the day?

A new report presented by William O’Neill of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) calls for 5,000 international police to enact “immediate and bold action” to tackle the “cataclysmic” situation in the country.

“Corruption, impunity and poor governance, compounded by increasing levels of gang violence, have eroded the rule of law and brought State institutions … close to collapse. The impact of generalized insecurity on the population is dire and deteriorating … and the population is severely deprived of enjoying its human rights,” says the report.

The report covers the past six months and found the number of people killed and injured due to gang violence significantly increased in 2023—4,451 killed and 1,668 injured. The number of victims skyrocketed in the first three months of 2024— 1,554 killed and 826 injured up to March 22.


Haitian leader Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Chérizier told the media that a foreign peacekeeping force would be treated as enemy fighters and met with armed resistance. Mr. Chérizier said in an interview, with the UK’s Sky News, “I think every day that passes we are coming up with a new strategy so we can advance, but there’s nothing calm.

In the days that are coming things will get worse than they are now,” he said. He’s willing to talk peace, but only if he is given a seat at the negotiating table. “The divide between rich and poor is too vast,” he said.

While Haitians are digesting the possibility of international forces occupying their small country, they also have to contend with the political parties in Haiti, overseen by CARICOM, the Caribbean economic union of countries, being organized at a recent meeting in Jamaica to form a transitional presidential council. That council would take over after the Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigns. 

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken attended the meeting and announced that the United States would provide an additional $100 million in aid toward a United Nations-backed multinational security mission planned to deploy to Haiti. He also pledged an additional $33 million in humanitarian aid, bringing the U.S. commitments to $333 million.

Critics argue that these are further examples of outside interference in the internal affairs of Haiti and that the Haitian people must decide their direction.

“The Haiti crisis is multidimensional. It is political, economic, security, humanitarian and even spiritual,” Attorney Joseph Makhandal told The Final Call. He also serves as the Nation of Islam’s representative to Haiti.

“The most pressing dimension that must be addressed is the rampant insecurity.  According to UNICEF, 80 percent of the capital, Port-au-Prince, is controlled by criminal gangs. 

Out of the CARICOM meeting emerged the need to promote the creation of a Transitional Presidential Council whose mandate would include organizing the forthcoming elections with the precondition that foreign intervention must be accepted.  That council is to be composed of nine members with two of them with only observatory status with no voting power,” the report states.

“While Haitian civil society has appointed its observers on this Council, some had already stepped down due to threats and intimidations. Nonetheless, they were later replaced. It seems that the resolution of the crisis is, once again, getting bogged down.

As a founding member of The National Haitian American Elected Officials Network, we are finalizing legislation to provide a path forward in this crisis.

This bill has the potential to address the multidimensional nature of Haiti’s crisis and fundamentally transform the security, diplomatic, and economic environment in the Caribbean. If this does not work, then separation with reparation will be the only solution,” the report continued.

Mr. Cherizier also said they “respect CARICOM a lot” but rejected the process as unrepresentative of the needs of the ordinary people and a smokescreen to allow “corrupt politicians” and what he calls “corrupt oligarchs” to continue running the country.

Dr. Andre Fiefe, a Haitian attorney and community organizer, is also concerned about international influence propping up leaders that don’t reflect the will of the Haitian people. He told The Final Call, “Let the Haitian people decide. Right now, we have only one man who talks good about Haiti.

People look at the the bodies of three persons shot dead after an overnight shooting in the Pétion Ville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, April 1, 2024.(AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

We have only one man who never been a traitor to his people. His name is Guy Philippe. We are open to work with any government or international partner. But we are tired of international partners saying that I’m choosing somebody for you, but that person I choose for you is the one that who makes your country like that?” said Mr. Fiefe. 

“They choose seven people. All seven people have been involved in giving guns to Haitian youth,” he said.  “They will say we need an international army. We need to do this. We need this because they want to be in power.

I’m not talking for myself to be in power. I’m talking about Haiti being free from what they’re doing, all the interference they’re doing in my country. Any country, any partners that want to help, fine, but let’s do it with Haitian ways, not their ways.”

The Institute of the Black World 21st Century has had a Haiti Support Project since 1995. They held a forum on March 21 in Washington, D.C., at The Historical Metropolitan AME Church, Frederick Douglass Hall, titled “Resolving the Critical Crisis in Haiti—The Role of the Montana Accord Movement.”  

Dr. Ron Daniels, IBW president and founder of the Haiti Support Project, has been vocal about what he sees as the challenges and opportunities this day calls for.  “Haiti is on fire. That’s the bad news. 

But the good news is that there is a remarkable, broad-based civil society movement involving hundreds of organizations and leaders from across the political spectrum who have boldly and courageously come forward to devise a plan, process and strategy to put out the fire, to extinguish the raging conflagration;

Firefighting freedom fighters committed to advancing a ‘Haitian solution’ to rescue the first Black Republic from what one leader has termed the ‘criminal enterprise’ which is spreading death and destruction across the land,” he said.