Since its inception, Haiti has always been known for all kinds of problem; however, history seems to be repeating itself of late. Amongst Haiti’s past challenges is the question of race which, by the way, is a very controversial topic that Haitians are reluctant to address.
Briefly, 19th Century Haiti was a time of racial disturbance. We have had a socially and racially divided country composed of different classes as Whites, Mulattos and Blacks. It’s not by pure coincidence that I list them as such but by role of importance, so it was believed to be.
As recently as the early 1990’s with the following United Nations Missions: UNMIH (United Nations Mission in Haiti Sept 1993 – June 1996), UNSMIH (United Nations Support Mission in Haiti July 1996 – July 1997), UNTMIH (United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti August 1997 – December 1997), MIPONUH (United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti December 1997 – March 2000 and finally MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti June 2004 – Present, Haiti has relived its past.
With these missions comes a new class of citizens in Haiti and this new class is composed of the offspring of foreign soldiers scattering throughout the country.
With the recent call of the MINUSTAH to withdraw from Haiti, there are a number of children that are left in between; and already, they are started to be labeled or called “Ti Blan Mannan”.
Aren’t these children also Haitians? What if anything is the government doing about this eventual social crisis? Does the government even aware of this issue? These are questions that need to be addressed and resolved before we can even think of sending the MINUSTAH packing.
President Martelly is correct for a premature withdrawal of the MINUSTAH will create a security vacuum that Haiti is not quite ready to handle, but I think that the new government should also be focusing on creating a system to track these soldiers whose children will be left fatherless without the involvement of Haitian authorities.
One way the government can start is by implementing a National Database Registry System asking everyone whose children are fathered by a foreign soldier to register by naming the soldier, rank & brigade. As such, the government would introduce some kind of law obligating these soldiers to have their DNA taken and forcing them to be a father to these children before leaving the country should there be a DNA match.
Are there laws in place to force these soldiers to assume their responsibilities toward these children before leaving Haiti? With all that is going on in Haiti, the government should also prioritize the well being of these innocent children.
As it stands now, these soldiers will be leaving Haiti and these children will become State’s problem. Haiti is already socially and racially disturbed and allowing these soldiers to leave without assuming their responsibilities toward these children will be disastrous for the State.
Since the President will soon be asking the UN to renew the mandate of the MINUSTAH, his government should introduce a clause of fatherhood holding these soldiers liable to support these innocent children who are not too far from becoming the next wave of “Ti Blan Mannan” in Haiti.
I don’t want to sound negative, but I was saddened to hear this expression in a Barbershop in Haiti as late as this past August when a little white boy innocently entered the Barber for a haircut.