Kofi Annan once said, “Often we mistake stability, in terms of security and economic activity, to mean a country is doing well. We forget the third and important pillar: rule of law and respect for human rights.”
I was reminded of this quote following the recent shocking assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, which is the culmination of escalating violence enabled in part by the departure of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti in October of 2017. Since that time, the gangs in Haiti have grown in size, violence and access to military-grade weapons. The gangs overwhelmed the flagging police force on numerous occasions, stealing their weapons and armored vehicles, and murdering and kidnapping the citizens of Haiti with impunity.
The government of Haiti, already destabilized by the dissolution of Parliament in January of 2020, has been entirely unable to restore the rule of law. This instability was exacerbated by the death of the leader of the Supreme Court, the first in the line of succession to the President, just before the President’s death. Furthermore, the Prime Minister, appointed after Parliament’s dissolution, reportedly has