Representative image of Haitian crisis
U.S. Sanctions Haitian Leaders For Drug Trafficking And Human Rights Abuses Photo by: Reuters/Ralph Tedy Erol

Haiti has received support from Canada in its efforts to disrupt the activities of Haitian gangs. The support came in the form of a military aircraft sent to Haiti by Canada, the Canadian government said on Sunday.

Saying that Canada supports the Haitian National Police, its government announced that it deployed a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft. It was in response to Haiti's request for support as violence continues to increase in the country.

Since the 2021 assassination of then-President Jovenel Moise, gangs in Haiti have become bolder and expanded their territory. The violence following the assassination has left a major part of the country off-limits to the government. Gun battles with cops happen regularly. The United Nations has said that gangs in Haiti are restricting access to necessities like water and health care. According to Reuters, when U.S. President Joe Biden goes to Canada in March, Haiti is expected to be on the agenda.

The Canadian government said that the military aircraft will provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability. These will help to bolster efforts to establish and maintain peace. Though the time period was not shared, the statement said that the aircraft will remain in the region "for a number of days." The aircraft deployment is the latest move that the Canadian government has taken to assist Haiti. It is not indicative of military intervention in Haiti, reported CTV News. Other support measures include levying sanctions against people viewed as responsible for the violence in Haiti. Canada's National Defence Minister Anita Anand said that the deployment of a "Canadian patrol aircraft will strengthen efforts to fight criminal acts of violence and to establish the conditions necessary for a peaceful and prosperous future."

The political as well as humanitarian crisis in Haiti has led to calls for countries in the West to intervene. In October 2022, the United Nations suggested a "rapid action force" be sent to Haiti to combat gang violence. Their turf battles have left hundreds dead and thousands of people displaced. Most countries have been wary of sending troops. But nearby Jamaica had said that it would be willing to participate and El Salvador also offered "technical assistance."

Christian groups have marched in the Haitian capital to denounce rampant violence
Christian groups have marched in the Haitian capital to denounce rampant violence in the country. Photo by: AFP/Richard Pierrin

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