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Haiti PM Ariel Henry resigns as transitional council is sworn in

Legend, Police used tear gas on crowds near the National Palace before the inauguration ceremony of members of Haiti’s transitional presidential council

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned Thursday as a new council was sworn in to lead the country plagued by deadly gang violence.

A recent outbreak of violence forced authorities to move the ceremony from the National Palace to the office of the outgoing prime minister.

Mr. Henry agreed to resign last month after armed groups blocked his return to the country.

Gangs now control most of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

They capitalized on the power vacuum left by the prime minister’s departure and extended their control over swaths of the country, which effectively became anarchic in places.

Mr Henry said he would resign after being prevented from returning from Kenya, where he had signed a deal to import a multinational security force to restore law and order. His resignation was formally presented in a letter signed in Los Angeles, dated April 24.

Nine members of the transition council have now been sworn in, seven of whom have the right to vote. Mr. Henry’s Finance Minister, Patrick Boisvert, will serve as interim Prime Minister.

The council will attempt to restore order and democratic rule to Haiti and is supported by other Caribbean countries and the United States.

He will set the agenda for a new government, form a national security council and appoint an electoral commission to pave the way for a vote.

His non-renewable term will expire on February 7, 2026, when a new president is expected to be sworn in.

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry officially resigned from office on Thursday.

Thursday’s inauguration ceremony took place against the backdrop of gang violence ravaging the country.

Gunshots heard near the National Palace, where the event was to take place, forced the move of the prime minister’s office, known as the Welcome Villa.

The gangs who had previously attacked the palace vowed to derail the ceremony. On Wednesday, police used tear gas to disperse crowds in nearby streets.

One of Haiti’s most powerful gang leaders, Jimmy Chérizier, issued a threat in a social media video: “Whether you are installed or not, this message is for you: prepare yourself. »

Mr. Chérizier, also known as Barbecue, is the most prominent figure in a gang alliance known as Viv Ansanm (Living Together), which controls about 80% of Port-au-Prince.

Last month, he said he would consider laying down his arms if armed groups were allowed to take part in talks to establish the new government.

He said he was “not proud” of Haiti’s spiral of violence and warned the crisis could persist if groups like his – which attack “corrupt politicians” – were not included. of a future government.

It said more than 1,500 people were killed and 800 injured in the first three months of 2024.

The report details the “atrocious practices” of the gangs, accused of using extreme violence and sexual abuse as a means of punishment and control.

Aid groups have reported difficulties getting food and water to the capital, warning that millions of people are unable to find enough to eat – with some on the brink of starvation.

Haiti: the basics

  • This Caribbean country shares a border with the Dominican Republic and has an estimated population of 11.5 million.
  • Its area is 27,800 km², which is slightly smaller than Belgium and about the same size as the US state of Maryland.
  • Chronic instability, dictatorships and natural disasters in recent decades have made Haiti the poorest country in the Americas.
  • An earthquake in 2010 killed more than 200,000 people and caused significant damage to infrastructure and the economy.
  • A UN peacekeeping force was established in 2004 to help stabilize the country and only withdrew in 2017.
  • In July 2021, President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by unidentified armed men in Port-au-Prince. In a political impasse, the country continues to be ravaged by unrest and gang violence.

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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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