Interim Minister Conille Forms New Government in Crisis-ridden Haiti - Latest Global News

Interim Minister Conille Forms New Government in Crisis-ridden Haiti

New cabinet announced ahead of expected deployment of Kenya-led international security force to Caribbean nation.

Haiti’s transitional council has announced the formation of a new government that will replace all members of former Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s cabinet as the country tries to tackle its economic problems and rampant gang violence.

Tuesday’s announcement came two weeks after the council appointed Garry Conille – a former regional director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – as interim prime minister.

Several ministers in the new cabinet do not come from the country’s political class.

Dominique Dupuy, Haiti’s representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will become the country’s foreign minister. Conille will also become interior minister – an important position that gives him oversight of the Haitian National Police.

Haitian authorities have struggled to contain gang violence. Over the past three years, armed groups have carried out organized attacks across the country, blocking fuel terminals and raiding police stations in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and other cities.

The unrest has been exacerbated by a series of crises facing the country of more than 11.5 million people.

Haiti suffers from periodic natural disasters, food shortages, a cholera outbreak and long-standing political instability, including the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021.

After Moise’s assassination, then-Prime Minister Henry became the country’s de facto leader, but his legitimacy was questioned after he indefinitely postponed Haiti’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

Gang leaders and civil society groups had called for Henry’s removal. He resigned in April, allowing an interim presidential council to take over the government.

There have been no elections in Haiti since 2016. Earlier this year, the US State Department said the establishment of the new transitional council would pave the way for “free and fair elections” in the country.

The international community, led by the United States, is pushing for the deployment of a multinational security force to contain the violence in Haiti. Kenya is to take over the leadership of the police force.

Kenyan President William Ruto said the United Nations-backed international officers would soon be deployed to the Caribbean nation.

“The people of Haiti may be waiting, God willing, for us to send our policemen probably next week or the week after to restore peace,” Ruto said on Sunday.

The force will have the difficult task of restoring security and order in Haiti. According to UN estimates, 80 percent of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area are under the control or influence of criminal gangs accused of murder, kidnapping and sexual violence.

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