The Bahamas would send troops to Haiti if asked, minister says

By and
Protest demanding the resignation of Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry
Haitian National police officers deploy tear gas during a protest demanding the resignation of Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry after weeks of shortages in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 17, 2022. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

NASSAU, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The Bahamas would send troops or police to Haiti as part of a peacekeeping force if asked to do so by the United Nations or the Caribbean Community, a Bahamian government minister said on Tuesday, as Haiti's humanitarian crisis continues to worsen.

The United States and Mexico on Monday called for U.N. support for a security mission to Haiti, where a gang blockade of a critical fuel port has crippled economic activity and left millions of people facing hunger. read more

"If Caricom determines to send troops in, Caricom will no doubt determine how that troop make-up will be, which could include Bahamian troops," National Security Minister Wayne Munroe told reporters.

"If this is the determination, the Defence Force will be ready, willing, and able to deploy."

Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis assumes the chairmanship of 15-member regional group Caricom in January.

Such an intervention would be in the interests of The Bahamas, Munroe said, because the Royal Bahamas Defence Force already does extensive work to patrol its territorial waters for Haitian migrants.

Haitians frequently travel through Bahamian waters in hopes of reaching the United States. read more

Some 4.7 million people - nearly half of Haiti's population - are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity, according to an analysis by U.N. agencies and aid groups released on Friday.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this month suggested sending in a "rapid-action force," according to a letter seen by Reuters, without describing where the troops would come from. read more

The proposal presented by the United States in the U.N. Security Council on Monday said a force would be led by a "partner nation," without identifying the country.

Reporting by Jasper Ward in Nassau and Brian Ellsworth in Miami

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.