Haiti – FLASH : Signing of an agreement on the legal status of the Mission
22/06/2024 09:14:34

Haiti - FLASH : Signing of an agreement on the legal status of the Mission

Friday June 21, 2024 in Washington, Ambassador Gandy Thomas, Acting Representative of Haiti to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Ambassador of Kenya to the United States, Lazarus O. Amayo signed a SOFA legal agreement Status Of Force Agreement on the status of the Multinational Security Support Mission (MMSS), announced Cristobal Dupouy, the special representative of the Secretary General of the OAS in Haiti.

Let’s remember that SOFA agreements are international legal agreements allowing for derogations, within certain limits, from the principle of territorial jurisdiction of the host State. This agreement which grants a set of privileges and immunities to members of the Mission, guaranteed by the Haitian State. This agreement was essential and conditioned the deployment of the Mission.

“[…] All MMSS personnel, including locally recruited personnel, enjoy immunity from legal process for all acts performed in the exercise of their official functions (including their words and writings). This immunity continues to have effect even when they are no longer members of the personnel or employed by the Mission and after the other provisions of this Agreement have expired […]”

The agreement also indicates that if the Haitian Government considers that a member of the Mission has committed a criminal offense, it must inform the Commander of the Mission with the evidence in its possession. Accused Mission staff will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of their participating State with respect to any criminal offense they commit in Haiti.

In the case of a civil offense if the Mission command certifies that the matter is not related to the official duties of the accused person, the proceedings proceed and the courts and authorities of Haiti provide accused personnel with sufficient opportunity to preserve their rights in accordance with due process guarantees.

Furthermore, the Haitian Government grants to the participating States that their property, their funds, their assets, the MMSS and its personnel enjoy the privileges and immunities set out in this Agreement.

To be continued…

TB/ HaitiLibre



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