New Government Takes Charge in Haiti Amid Escalating Violence
In a bid to restore order in the violence-stricken nation, Haiti has established a new government, completely overhauling the previous administration led by former Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Henry was ousted earlier this year by gangs that have seized control of large areas of the country. Video posted to X allegedly shows the riots which sprung up in response to Henry’s attempt to utilize the Kenyan Police to combat crime:

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The announcement of the new cabinet follows the appointment of Garry Conille as interim prime minister by Haiti’s transitional government council two weeks ago. Conille, who will also serve as the interior minister, was officially named in a decree published in the country’s official gazette.

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Leadership Overhaul and Hope for Stability
The new cabinet, appointed by the transitional council, aims to bring political stability to Haiti, a nation plagued by prolonged violence and turmoil. A spokeswoman confirmed that all key positions have been filled, with Garry Conille taking on dual roles as prime minister and interior minister.

Conille’s attorney, Carlos Hercules, has been appointed as the minister for justice and public security, while Dominique Dupuy, Haiti’s ambassador to UNESCO, will serve as the foreign affairs minister. The finance ministry will be led by Princeton-educated Ketleen Florestal, succeeding Michel Patrick Boisvert, who also briefly served as interim prime minister this year.

 

Challenges Ahead for the New Cabinet
While the new government brings a glimmer of hope, the road ahead is fraught with challenges. The international airport’s recent reopening is a positive step, but many Haitians remain deeply concerned about the gangs’ dominance in the capital, Port-au-Prince. These groups refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the interim council or any transitional leadership.

A UN-backed security force, to be led by Kenya, was proposed last year to support the struggling Haitian police force. However, the deployment of around 1,000 Kenyan police officers has yet to materialize. Kenyan President William Ruto recently reaffirmed his commitment to the plan in an interview with the BBC, but no concrete action has been taken.

 

The Fallout of Ariel Henry’s Ouster
Former Prime Minister Ariel Henry agreed to step down in March after armed groups blocked his return from Kenya, where he had been in talks with President Ruto. The resulting power vacuum allowed gangs to expand their control, leading to lawlessness in various parts of the country.

The United Nations described the situation in Haiti as “cataclysmic” in a recent report, citing over 1,500 deaths and 800 injuries in the first quarter of 2024 alone. The report highlighted the extreme violence and sexual abuse employed by gangs as methods of punishment and control.

Humanitarian organizations face significant obstacles in delivering food and water to the capital, with millions of Haitians on the brink of famine. The country’s crisis deepened following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, which left Haiti without a president or a functioning parliament.

 

Future Uncertainty
As Haiti’s new government steps in, the nation watches closely to see if this new leadership can make meaningful strides toward restoring order and stability. The challenges are immense, but forming this cabinet is a critical first step.