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Haiti PM steps down as transitional govt takes power

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has resigned, his office said, as a transitional council took power with the aim of returning stability to a country where gang violence has caused chaos and misery.

Mr Henry’s finance minister, Michel Patrick Boisvert, will be interim prime minister, according to the nation’s official gazette.

The formal swearing-in of the nine-member transitional council took place on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince.

The ceremony was held at the prime minister’s official office, known as Villa d’Accueil, not the National Palace in the city centre, which has come under repeated fire from armed gangs in recent days.

In a letter dated yesterday and shared on social media today, Mr Henry said his government had “served the nation in difficult times”.

Haiti’s outgoing government formalised the transition process two weeks ago, a month after Mr Henry announced he would resign once the council was in place.

He was stranded outside the country as alliances of heavily armed gangs threatened to take control of the capital.

Ariel Henry said his government had ‘served the nation in difficult times’

Powerful gang leader Jimmy “Barbeque” Cherizier insisted that talks over Haiti’s political future must include the gangs.

Violence, which has been a problem in Haiti for years, escalated earlier this year.

More than 2,500 people were killed or injured between January and March, up 53% from the last three months of 2023, according to data from the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH).

The security situation has also displaced thousands and caused catastrophic hunger.

“The swearing-in of Transitional Presidential Council members represents a vital step in Haiti’s return to inclusive governance,” Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US State Department Brian Nichols said on social media.

“We commend all participants for their commitment to pursue compromise and work together to improve the lives of all Haitians.”


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