Home News Amid gunfire, Haiti forms new governing council

Amid gunfire, Haiti forms new governing council

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Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry formally signed his resignation letter on Wednesday, paving the way for a new government and bringing a degree of political stability to a country mired in gang violence and a spreading humanitarian crisis.

With gunshots as the background, the nine members transition committee He was sworn in at the National Palace earlier on Thursday.

“We served our country during difficult times,” Henry wrote, including a Los Angeles address in his resignation letter. “I sympathize with the loss and pain our fellow citizens are experiencing during this time.”

Henry, who has been unable to return to the country due to security concerns, said in March he would resign once a transitional council was formed.

Michel Patrick Boisvert, Haiti’s former Minister of Economy and Finance, was appointed Acting Prime Minister to take over Henry’s duties during his absence. He and the new governing council now face the challenge of restoring order in Haiti, reforming the constitution and organizing presidential elections.

Armed gangs – some of which are work together now – Attacks on communities, looting of homes, kidnapping of civilians, rape of women and random killings continue, human rights groups say. Gang leaders say they intend to do whatever they can to disrupt the current political process.

However, it is unclear how long Boisvert will remain prime minister, as the council has the presidential power to oust him and appoint a successor if it wishes.

Under the commission’s mandate, the new chair will take office and all elected authorities will be sworn in in February 2026, but it is unclear when these elections will take place. Haiti has been without a president since the previous president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in 2021. The terms of all local authorities – from senators to elected mayors – expired several years ago.

“Our country, Haiti, finds itself at a crossroads, searching for the ideal solution to emerge from a multifaceted political crisis that has lasted too long,” Mr. Boisvert said on Thursday. “In fact, this day opens up the prospect of solutions.”

U.S. officials welcomed the creation of the council. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols hailed it as “an important step in Haiti’s return to inclusive governance” in a social media post.

The commission’s inauguration is expected to clear the way for the arrival of a Kenyan-led multinational police force tasked with stabilizing the violence-plagued country.In March, Kenyan officials said they suspend their plans Deploy 1,000 police officers until a new government is formed.

It remains to be seen when Kenyan police will arrive and how funds allocated for the force will be spent.

“I don’t believe they’re taking this seriously, which means there’s no plan,” said Emmanuela Douyon, a Haitian policy expert and social justice advocate who fled Haiti for Boston in 2021.

Accountability issues have plagued previous peacekeeping missions in Haiti, she said, adding: “Send money in the name of Haiti, when something goes wrong, blame the Haitian people and move on.”

When they arrive, police forces will face a daunting scene, with local news outlets reporting on new gang attacks in the capital, Port-au-Prince, in recent days.

“What pains me is that,” said Maria Isabel Salvador, head of the United Nations Mission in Haiti, explain Earlier this week, “some of the worst-case scenarios for Haiti have become a reality in recent months and weeks.”

She said about 2,500 people were killed or injured by gang violence in the first quarter of this year, a 53% increase from the previous period and the most violent quarter since the organization began compiling data in 2022.

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