Port-au-Prince — Canada has deployed aircraft into Haiti’s airspace to be able to disrupt gang activity. Canada’s Department of National Defense and Department of Foreign Affairs announced the deployment of a CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft on Sunday in a Feb. 5 news release.
The airplane, called Aurora, is part of the Royal Air Force Canada (RCAF) fleet.
“Canada is committed to supporting the people of Haiti as well as peace and security in the country,” said Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of National Defense, in the statement. “The deployment of a Canadian patrol aircraft will help strengthen the fight against criminal acts of violence and set the conditions for a peaceful and prosperous future.”
The aircraft is able to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and will remain in the area for a number of days, the statement read.
“In recent weeks, violence in Haiti has intensified as gangs continue to terrorize vulnerable populations with impunity,” said Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. “The international community has a role to play in responding to the current humanitarian and security crisis and Canada is determined to play a leadership role.”
The Canadian government says it is taking action to remedy the precarious security situation in Haiti and to support the Haitian National Police. He indicates that the deployment of the Aurora aircraft is one of the many ways that Canada is taking action to support the people of Haiti.
Haitian government officials have not yet made any public statements about the presence of the Aurora plane, which began flying over Haiti Feb. 4.
Aurora deployment, a twist
Many Haitians are puzzled about the plane’s presence and the announcement of it.
Himmler Rébu, a former Haitian colonel, said on radio magik9, he does not understand since military operations, as he characterized it, are always carried out under secrecy. However, he still welcomed it.
“This operation is a message of hope addressed to the population,” says Rébu. “It’s also a warning message to the bandits telling them to seek cover to perform their ‘theater.’”
While the plane was flying over Haiti, the gangs kidnapped several people in the capital, including Kineton Louis, director general of the Centre National d’Equipement (CNE), in Petion-Ville on Saturday.
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