(Graphic/Slide Share)

By Ke’Aun Charles,
Special to the AFRO

Haiti has collapsed. Armed gangs roam the country. Its disputed leader, President Ariel Henry, has requested international intervention to save the country multiple times.

No one has answered the call. 

This is mostly due to war exhaustion on America’s part, the West’s focus on Ukraine, global economic uncertainty and — it must be said — “Haiti exhaustion.” The U.S. and the United Nations have intervened in the Caribbean nation before; good has not been a consistent outcome. So, the major players are unwilling. CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and the Dominican Republic have also signaled their unwillingness to send troops.

Well then, what about the African Union? Haiti is not a member of the AU, but it does technically fall under the Union’s “Sixth Region” as part of the African Diaspora. The AU also has hard-earned experience leading multinational military interventions, as evidenced by its missions in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. What the AU does not have is funds or resources. Virtually all of its missions require external funding and arms.

The U.S. has been looking around for a country to lead the charge into Haiti. Washington does not have the will to step into Haiti itself, but it does have funds and resources. So why not ask the African Union to do it? The U.S. can fund the mission, arm the mission and support the mission, but it wouldn’t have to put boots on the ground. To entice the AU, the U.S. could offer various economic and political concessions – debt cancellations, market access, investment, and so on. Perhaps, also it could include participating countries in the migratory plan that the Biden administration extended to Haiti and various Latin American countries.

On the AU’s part, a successful mission in Haiti would bring enormous prestige to the battered organization, both on the African continent and among the African Diaspora in the Americas. Depending on the negotiations between the US and AU, the Union could also gain significant economic and political concessions.

As America continues to look for ways to improve its relationship with Africa, a joint mission to save a country so important to the histories of both sides seems very fitting.