As Violence Keeps Him Locked Out Of Haiti, Prime Minister Decides To Step Down

( – Two days before Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in July 2021, Ariel Henry was appointed prime minister. He took over as the governing official after Moïse’s death. However, he was not well received, and when he made a recent visit to Kenya, gangs seized two prisons, released thousands of inmates, and attempted to seize the airport. Henry has been unable to return to Haiti, is stuck in Puerto Rico, and has decided to resign.

The decision came on Tuesday, March 12, following a meeting by high-level government officials in Jamaica on how to address the spiraling conditions in the island nation. Henry has agreed that he and his government will step down once the country has a transitional presidential council in place. This council would include up to nine members, two of whom would be nonvoting observers.

Currently, there are no elected government officials, all the way to the top role of the president. That position has been empty since Moïse’s death. In a video, he addressed Haitians directly, asking them “to remain calm and do everything they can for peace and stability to come back.”

Henry has been stuck in Puerto Rico since returning from his overseas visit to Kenya to establish a multinational police force to rein in the gang violence Haiti is overwhelmed with. The main airports are closed down due to the violence. Armed gang members scaled the walls of Toussaint Louverture International Airport and engaged in a shootout with police officers, killing one. They failed to seize control. Gangs also attacked the local police academy, where hundreds of cadets were training, but were repelled.

Haiti’s western region, where its capital city of Port-au-Prince is located, is currently under a state of emergency and a strict nighttime curfew. The directive was recently extended until at least April 3, in an attempt to stem the violence in the country. Human rights groups argue that the measures have had little effect.

Copyright 2024,