Haitian Prime Minister resigns as gangs seize control of main airport

Henry has not set foot in his country since last month when he travelled to Kenya to sign a reciprocal agreement with President William Ruto
Haitian Prime Minister resigns
PHOTO COURTESY

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has resigned amid deadly gang violence in the country even as Kenya plans to send police officers there. His resignation was announced by Guyanese President Irfaan Ali who is also the Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

We acknowledge his resignation upon the establishment of transitional presidential council and naming an interim prime minister,” he said.

Henry has not set foot in his country since last month when he travelled to Kenya to sign a reciprocal agreement with President William Ruto who has agreed to deploy 1,000 police officers to the largely gang-controlled country.

Heavily armed gunmen have since barricaded the main airport at the capital Port-au-Prince vowing to block his return.

This escalation of violence left the Prime Minister and other senior officials he had travelled with to Kenya stranded in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Following Henry’s resignation, a transitional presidential council was formed to name an interim prime minister.

The presidential council, Ali said, would have 2 observers and 7 voting members, including representatives from several coalitions, the private sector, civil society and one religious leader.

The surprise resignation follows a meeting of regional leaders Monday in nearby Jamaica to discuss the framework for a political transition, which the U.S. has urged last week to be “expedited” as armed gangs sought to topple his government.

The status is as you know it. There was a small court matter which has been resolved. The court said we needed to have a reciprocal agreement with Haiti, that reciprocal agreement was signed more than a week ago.

In Kenya, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki announced Monday that the government was at the tail end on police deployment plans to Haiti.

All the other programmes are in place including the status of forces agreement and the laws on detention arrests and other enforcement measures are now in place,” he said, “Kenya is the lead nation but there are so many nations that have pledged to contribute troops and this came from the mandate of the United Nations Security
Council so it is part of our international obligations.”

It remains unclear if Kenya will still send forces to Haiti following the Prime Minister’s resignation.

AGENCIES

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