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Belize Defence Force soldiers in training for potential deployment to Haiti

Posted: Friday, January 26, 2024. 9:23 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: While Belize continues to await word from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with regard to a potential regional peace-keeping force in Haiti, training is underway for that potential deployment.

In 2023, Belize committed 50 Belize Defence Force soldiers and there were suggestions police officers could be sent as well to keep the peace following an escalation in violence and criminal gang activity.

Today, there was an update from the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Defense, Oscar Mira, who reported that a group of soldiers from the Canadian Armed Forces are in Belize preparing those soldiers: “The Belize Defense Force is always making sure that they are ready for deployment. We are doing training. We have not sent anyone out of the country for training. The training is happening in Belize. We have Canadian forces here in the country who is giving us that training.

Minister of State Mira clarified reports that soldiers were being sent to Jamaica for training and said that more will be part of the training should the region be called on to implement a peace-keeping force: “At the beginning we have a list of fifty personnel. We will train more so that we have a pool of BDF officers who can be deployed to Haiti. But that training is happening here in Belize. There has not been a decision as yet as to deployment to Haiti. CARICOM is still looking and still deciding when will be the best. We want to ensure that our soldiers are well prepared, that the soldiers that are deployed are well trained and have everything they need before they are deployed. A decision has not been made as yet.”

 

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