Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Senate confirms Dennis Hankins as ambassador to Haiti

By 37ci3 Mar15,2024

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Dennis Hankins as ambassador to the United States. Haiti as the Caribbean country faces increase in severity and political uncertainty.

The near-unanimous vote comes nearly 10 months after President Joe Biden nominated the longtime diplomat for the post in May 2023. Hankins was confirmed by a vote of 89-1, with 10 senators not voting.

The White House has called for a “quick confirmation” of Hankins amid rising gang violence in Haiti.

“This is a critical time to make sure we have an ambassador, and we certainly need one urgently,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. he said to reporters on Thursday. “And again, we are working with our partners on Capitol Hill to get his approval as quickly as possible. We certainly hope that this vote will be swift and positive.”

Hankins steps into the position just days after the announcement by Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry his resignation violent gangs have plans swept away most of the capital Port-au-Prince. Earlier this month, Henry’s plane landed in Puerto Rico due to threats at a Haitian airport. Gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, nicknamed “Barbecue”, threatened further violence if Henry did not resign.

Gangs in Haiti have attacked government offices and government agencies National Penitentiary, this led to the escape of all approximately 4,000 prisoners.

In response to the unrest, the US added security forces USA Eembassy and lifted by air non-essential personnel outside the country.

Biden wrote Thursday, detailing his decision to send military personnel to the embassy letter “United States Armed Forces personnel are expected to remain in Haiti as long as the security environment warrants,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said.

“Although this military security force is equipped for combat, its action was taken only as a precautionary measure to protect United States diplomatic facilities and diplomatic personnel,” Biden said in the letter.

Hankins served as a foreign policy adviser at the Pentagon and held US diplomatic posts including in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Mozambique. according to White House. He also worked as a nonimmigrant visa supervisor and refugee coordinator in Haiti.

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By 37ci3

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