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Haiti Prime Minister Resigns Amid Gang Control

Haiti faces deepening turmoil as gangs tighten grip on Port-au-Prince. Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigns amid efforts to address governance crisis and gang violence.

Haiti finds itself engulfed in escalating turmoil as criminal gangs tighten their grip on the capital city of Port-au-Prince, reportedly controlling up to 90% of its territory. This dire situation comes to a head with the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, marking a significant turn of events in the country’s tumultuous political landscape.

The decision to step down comes amid intense regional and international efforts to address Haiti’s pressing challenges. A gathering of Caribbean nations, United Nations representatives, and delegates from influential countries such as France and the United States convened in Jamaica to find a viable solution to Haiti’s deepening crisis.

However, Prime Minister Henry found himself stranded in Puerto Rico, unable to physically return to Port-au-Prince due to the volatile security situation. Despite this setback, he engaged with members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) remotely to participate in the discussions.

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Haiti’s political landscape has been marred by instability since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, further compounded by the absence of any subsequent elections since 2016. Ariel Henry, who Moïse appointed, was slated to step down from his position in early February, further deepening the leadership vacuum and exacerbating the country’s governance crisis.

Despite earnest efforts to address the ongoing turmoil, including Henry’s agreement during discussions in Nairobi to deploy Kenyan police officers to Haiti to bolster security, the situation on the ground remains perilous. Against this backdrop, diplomatic negotiations in Kingston sought to formalize a proposal urging Prime Minister Henry to transfer power to a transitional council that would represent Haitian civil society.

In a statement issued before his resignation, Prime Minister Henry reiterated the government’s unwavering commitment to establishing a transitional presidential council. He emphasized plans for the council’s members to be selected through a consultative process involving various sectors of Haitian national life, underscoring the importance of inclusivity and broad-based participation in charting a path forward for the beleaguered nation.

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