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Conflict-torn Haiti Has New Prime Minister


Ariel Henry was sworn in as Haiti’s new Prime Minister, nearly two weeks after the assassination of the country’s President Jovenel Moïse.

The late president asked Mr. Henry to take the post, days before he was shot in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

But Mr. Henry was in political conflict with Claude Joseph, acting Prime Minister of Haiti at the time of the attack.

Mr Joseph resigned on Monday and said Mr Henry’s appointment would pave the way for an election in September.

Speaking at a ceremony in Port-au-Prince, the new Prime Minister called for unity.

“One of my priority tasks will be to reassure the population that we will do everything to restore order and security,” Henry said, according to the AFP news agency.

Mr. Joseph joined him at the ceremony and warned of a difficult task at hand.

A commemorative ceremony took place before the funeral of President Jovenel Moïse, which is scheduled for Friday

“You inherit an exceptional situation characterized by the absence of a president to serve as a shield, a political crisis unprecedented in the history of the country, galloping insecurity, a gloomy and precarious economic situation”, declared Mr. Joseph, back. in his former post as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The unveiling took place as an official memorial began for Moses, who was killed in his private residence on July 7.

His wife Marine was also shot and returned to Haiti last week after receiving medical treatment in the United States.

Moïse, 53, had ruled Haiti by decree since 2018. Before his death, the country was already mired in political and security crises, with no functioning parliament, frequent anti-government protests and an upsurge in gang violence.

Many details of the attack on the president remain a mystery.

Haitian police blamed a group of mostly foreign mercenaries – 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans.

At least 20 were arrested, while three were killed by police and five are still at large. Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Haitian doctor based in Florida, has been accused by police of instigating the plot.

“All the culprits, perpetrators and sponsors must be identified and brought to Haitian justice,” said Mr. Henry.

“I hope that exemplary and dissuasive sentences will be pronounced. The nation expects no less from its leaders,” he added. “We will never have to relive such a tragedy again.

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