Military - Haiti Observer Blog

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Judge Joseph Nerette, Haiti Provisional President

Joseph Nerette was born on April 9th in the year 1924. He lived for 83 years and his life saw many ups and downs. He was popular Haitian judge and had a long political career which culminated as the President of Haiti.

Provisional President

Joseph Nérette was the 48th president of Haiti. While he served his term as the president of Haiti Jean-Jacques Honorat was the Prime Minister. He was a provisional president of Haiti as the actual power rested with the military.

The military was headed by Michel Francois and Raoul Cedras who were really powerful leaders. As the power rested with the military there were no major changes initiated by Joseph Nérette as a president of Haiti.

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Herard Abraham - Haiti's army man and a political figure

Herard Abraham was born on July 28th 1940 in Port-au-Prince. At a very young age he enlisted himself into the Haitian army. He rose in the ranks of the army and also had a short stint in politics. So he can be called an army man and a political figure.

Foreign Minister

Hérard Abraham rose to the position of Lieutenant General of the Haitian Force Arme D'Haiti and became a close member of the inner circle of the Duvalier family.

In spite of being close to the Duvalier Family, Herard Abraham joined hands with the new president Henri Namphy. He served as the foreign minister in the new government, his first political post.

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Haiti Cabinet Shake, Bernice Fidelia, Magalie Racine and David Bazile as new members

After so many speculations. After so many names mentioned to be on the list of termination in the Government of Laurent Lamothe, the decision has been made. After being in power for just over a year and a half. The Martelly presidency obviously has not been working to the satisfaction of the president.

As a result, some heads have to roll!

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe gave the news about the reshuffling of his ministerial Cabinet via Twitter. The new members of his cabinet include:

Bernice Fidelia who replaces Daniel Supplice as minister for Haitians Living Abroad. She recently occupied the position of liaison with the Haitian diaspora.

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Haitian President Emile Jonassaint

Haiti's transition to democracy took a long process and a long line of political leaders before it was fully achieved. In the 1980s and 1990s, Haitians and the government had to deal with several sudden changes in leadership as one president to the next were overthrown by coup d'états, revolts, and even foreign pressure. One of these individuals who were cut short from their presidency due to ongoing political turmoil was Émile Jonassaint, who served for a mere five months from May to October 1994.

Emile Jonassaint 's former administration was considered a puppet government of the military regime that has earlier removed Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office in 1991 after he won the first free elections in Haiti. The short five months under Jonassaint's temporary rule was met with chaos and violence between Aristide supporters and the military. In 1994, the U.S. government intervened and negotiated with the Haitian president to give back Aristide's presidency. He agreed and signed the famous Port-au-Prince Accord and maybe avoided the U.S.'s invasion over the country that was being torn by politics. He died at the age of 82 a year later.

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Louis Jodel Chamblain

Louis Jodel Chamblain was born either in 1953 or 1954. He is a military leader who has won many medals in the army though to some he is a fraudulent war leader. In 1987, he allegedly headed government death squads that interrupted a planned election that would have marked the transition to civilian rule. In all, 34 voters were killed, and the election was cancelled.

Civilian elections did take place in 1990, in which Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected, but a military coup in which Louis Jodel Chamblain was involved overthrew Aristide in 1991. He has undergone military training in the United States. Immediately following the coup, his reputation for brutality grew further as he is reported to have been responsible for thousands of murders of Aristide followers. He formed a paramilitary organization, the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), in 1993 as tensions grew between supporters of Aristide's reinstatement and supporters of the military government.

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Demobilized Haitian soldiers in Legislative Building disturbed Chamber of Deputies

The soldiers, who were fully armored, stayed outside the legislative building and were unable to enter the building. The soldiers had 3 pickups and a bus, all with obscured number plates, and were trying to air their grievances. The demobilized soldiers interrupted a meeting that was ongoing. The members present in the meeting were to form a commission that will be vet viability of designated Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe.

The Demobilized Haitian soldiers were protesting against actions that will be taken by the minister for justice and I quote his sentiments, "I will seek police officers in special units of the police, and send them to attack the military that are on bases." They said they are in the constitution and that cannot be changed by anyone.

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The PNH takes control of camp Lamentin, more than 50 arrests

Some incidents that have been happening around Haiti have shocked many and are making the government look powerless. Men who claim to be former demobilized soldiers have been taking over former military bases, including camp Lamentin and causing a lot of fear and terror among Haitians.

50 arrests have been done so far under two separate operations; Lamentin and Bon Repos operations. The measures taken are worth as the men had earlier come in front of the national palace with full armor, though they did not do any harm anyone. Analysts think that there are better ways to voice their demands.

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Ecuador President Rafael Correa to help Haiti with New Military Force

With the planned developments for Haiti under the young administration of President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, the country needs great assistance and cooperation, especially with its neighboring countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. That is why the Martelly-Lamothe administration has been very keen and active in obtaining foreign support for its different sectors and projects.

The most recent development with regards to international ties and relations is with neighboring Ecuador. In July of 2012, President Martelly met with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in order to gain mutual cooperation with regards to national security and defense. Both countries have signed to a number of agreements on this matter with respect to strengthening ties and solidarity between the two nations. In one of these agreements, Ecuador promised a 13.5 million dollar fund for Haiti in order to reconstruct the country amidst the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Another agreement also included mutual cooperation with regards to providing an engineering force, new military units, and marine rescue facilities in Haiti, as well as providing military force in its borders, aviation units, and anti-riot forces in order to overturn armed threats to the country's security. The cooperation of both countries will also include the training of military staff and personnel and the reconstructing and building of different infrastructure to stabilize the economic situation of Haitians.

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Brazil and Ecuador to Help Rebuild Haitian Army

With the brutal military regime over for more than a decade and Haiti successfully transitioned into a democratic nation, President Michel Martelly is planning to create a new Haitian army to replace the U.N. troops. The president, along with the country's Defense Minister Rodolphe Joazile, has recently been able to convince neighboring countries' Brazil and Ecuador in helping on the cause. The two nations both agreed to assist Haiti by providing military training, equipment, and engineering.

Haiti's military was notorious for human rights violations and bloodshed in the 1900s. It had a strong involvement and influence in the country's politics, having the capability to overthrow presidents and government officials. One of the bloodiest movements led by the military was the 1991 coup d'état in order to remove then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office. It took three years of bloodshed between the military and Aristide's supporters before the United States intervened and put the Aristide back as Haiti's head of state. With the help of the U.S. and the United Nations, the government was finally able to disband the military in 1995. The country has since been protected by the U.N.'s peacekeeping force.

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Brazil to Help Haiti Build a Professional Army

The Government of Haiti has asked Brazil's military to help put together armed forces, capable of assuming peacekeeping duties the UN currently provides. Haiti Minister of Defense, Jean Rodolphe Joazile, along with Brazil's Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, issued a joint statement on July 26, 2012 regarding the request. Amorim said Brazil would send military representatives to Haiti on a fact-finding visit to decide what kinds of resources Haiti would need to build their army.

Amorim pointed out assistance from Brazil is based on the stipulation Haiti train and pay their soldiers as a professional military operation. In other words, Brazil does not want a volunteer militia that can't perform the job now being handled by UN peacekeeping forces.

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