Latin America

Haiti’s prime minister Ariel Henry resigns

In view of the escalating gang violence in Haiti, Prime Minister Ariel Henry has announced his resignation. There is an agreement for a “peaceful transfer of power,” it was said at a meeting of the Caribbean community of states.

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is stranded abroad, has announced his resignation.

He will resign from office as soon as a transitional council has been formed and a temporary successor has been appointed, he said, according to the Caribbean community of states CARICOM.

A US government official said Henry confirmed his resignation in a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Henry can stay in the US territory of Puerto Rico, where he is currently staying.

Goal: Free and fair elections

Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali said: “I would like to pause and thank Prime Minister Henry for his service to Haiti.” There is an agreement for a transitional government and a “peaceful transfer of power” in the impoverished Caribbean state, Ali said. The ultimate goal is “free and fair elections”.

There had previously been an emergency meeting of the CARICOM countries in Jamaica, which Blinken also took part in. The meeting behind closed doors was intended to discuss how the increasing violence in Haiti could be stopped. Henry did not attend the meeting.

Escalation of violence

The violence in Haiti escalated at the end of February during Henry’s trip abroad in Kenya. Armed gangs in the country attacked police stations and freed thousands of prisoners from prisons, they also attacked the presidential palace.

The gangs demanded the resignation of Henry, who has been in power since 2021 and who was actually supposed to leave the office of Prime Minister at the beginning of February. Instead, at the end of February, Henry agreed with the opposition to govern together until new elections were held.

But Haiti has been in crisis for a long time. The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 plunged the Caribbean state, which was already characterized by crime, political instability and great poverty, into an even deeper crisis.

Gangs now control large parts of the country, and the number of murders has more than doubled in the past year. Millions of people are starving, many are displaced in their own country. There have been no elections in Haiti since 2016.

Escalating violence: Haiti’s government declares a state of emergency


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