The Canadian government is supporting its allies in Haiti with military assistance as the country faces escalating gang violence.
Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly, announced that Canada has sent a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft and personnel to patrol the skies of Haiti.
Ottawa says the aircraft will be used to support the Haitian National Police against gang activity and is in response to the country’s request for support, as heavily armoured gangs have overtaken Haiti’s capital city Port-au-Prince.
“In recent weeks, the violence in Haiti has escalated as the gangs continue to terrorize vulnerable populations with impunity,” said Joly.
“The international community has a role to play in responding to the current humanitarian and security crisis and Canada is committed to playing a leadership role. We will continue to support Haitian-led efforts to restore security and build a safer and brighter future for its people,” she adds.
Canada says the aircraft has already been deployed and is set to remain in the area ‘for a number of days.’ Staff note the Aurora can be used for a variety of roles, including anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, surveillance work and much more.
Ottawa has also provided Haiti with nearly $100 million in international assistance and has also imposed sanctions on those they say are responsible for the ongoing violence – including members of the Haitian elite.
“Canada is committed to supporting the people of Haiti, as well as peace and security in the country,” said Anand.
“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. I thank all members of the Canadian Armed Forces involved in this mission for their service and dedication to global stability,” she adds.
On social media, Minister Anand also notes the first Canadian Leopard 2 main battle tank that Canada has donated to Ukraine has arrived in Poland to use against the Russian invasion.