Unrest Forces Haiti's Prime Minister to Resign

World | March 12, 2024, Tuesday // 09:15
Bulgaria: Unrest Forces Haiti's Prime Minister to Resign

Amidst unprecedented violence and turmoil in Haiti, Prime Minister Ariel Henry has announced his resignation, succumbing to mounting pressure from armed criminal gangs and calls for political change. Henry, who has been ruling Haiti since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, faced escalating attacks by criminal groups demanding his resignation.

Unable to land in Haiti due to security concerns, Henry's plane was forced to divert to Puerto Rico as he returned from Kenya, where he was engaging in diplomatic efforts to secure Nairobi's involvement in a UN mission to quell riots. The demand for his resignation came from the de facto leader of armed gangs, Jimmy Cherisier, also known as "Barbecue."

The situation prompted the withdrawal of US diplomats and calls from various countries for a swift transition to elections. A senior US official confirmed that Henry's decision to step down was made on Friday.

As part of the transitional arrangements, a presidential council comprising two observers and seven voting members will be established, involving representatives from civil society, the private sector, and religious leaders. Once formed, Henry will retire, paving the way for the council to appoint an interim prime minister, with a key condition being their non-participation in future elections.

Beyond political transitions, the council faces the daunting task of addressing the urgent needs of Haitians severely impacted by the ongoing crisis. The country has been grappling with a state of emergency since March 3, following a surge in gang violence and a mass prison escape, leaving hundreds of thousands internally displaced and facing food shortages.

However, resolving Haiti's deep-rooted issues will require international cooperation to stem the flow of weapons fueling the conflict and address systemic challenges within the country's governance structure.

Despite the turmoil, scenes of celebration were witnessed in Haitian streets, as people rejoiced over Henry's resignation, expressing hope for a brighter future. However, the situation remains tense, with continued clashes between criminal elements and law enforcement authorities highlighting the volatile nature of Haiti's political landscape.

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Tags: Haiti, Prime Minister, resignation, violence

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