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A new start in Haiti against gang violence

A presidential transition council has been sworn in in Haiti. He is supposed to lead the Caribbean state, which has been hit by violence and natural disasters, out of its ongoing crisis. Prime Minister Henry resigned as planned.

After the inauguration of an interim presidential council in Haiti, the interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned. He will be succeeded on an interim basis by the previous Finance Minister Michel Patrick Boisvert, as Haitian media reported.

Shortly beforehand, the nine members of the Transitional Council had been sworn in at the presidential palace in the capital Port-au-Prince. The council is expected to appoint a new interim government and pave the way for Haiti's first elections since 2016. He is also expected to support a multinational security mission in the Caribbean state approved by the UN Security Council.

Transitional Council wants to appoint provisional election commission

The council is made up of representatives from various groups from politics, civil society, business and religion – seven of the members are entitled to vote. The creation of the council was agreed on March 11th at a meeting of the Caribbean Community Caricom in Jamaica as a way out of the serious state and security crisis in Haiti. Since then, its composition had been negotiated and disputed.

The interim council will also appoint a provisional electoral commission – a prerequisite for elections – and set up a national security council. The Council's mandate expires on February 7, 2026 and cannot be extended. A new president should be sworn in by then.

USA sends equipment for police

Henry had announced that he would resign as soon as the council was in place. The neurosurgeon has been in power since shortly after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. He did not return from a trip abroad at the end of February due to intense violence from powerful gangs demanding Henry's resignation.

The US government welcomed the establishment of the Transitional Council. With the swearing in of its members, a “decisive step towards free and fair elections” was taken, said the National Security Council's communications director, John Kirby.

In order to strengthen the capacities of the Haitian police, the USA has launched an initial shipment of equipment. The United States remains committed to supporting Haiti-led efforts to restore security and the rule of law, Kirby said.

Poorest country in the Western Hemisphere

According to the UN, armed groups already controlled around 80 percent of Port-au-Prince before the latest escalation. More than 1,500 people were killed in the first three months of the year and around 95,000 were displaced from the capital region within a month. An already existing hunger crisis worsened. All scheduled flights were canceled and foreign diplomats and citizens were evacuated from Haiti.

Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. In recent years it has also been repeatedly hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.

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