Haiti’s prime minister to resign, Caricom chair says

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The embattled prime minister of Haiti, whose capital has been wracked by out-of-control gang violence, has agreed to resign, the head of a collective of Caribbean countries said Monday.

Mohamed Irfaan Ali, president of Guyana and chairman of the group known as Caricom, announced the resignation at a Monday night news conference.

“We acknowledge the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, upon the establishment of a transitional presidential council and the naming of an interim prime minister,” Ali said.

Henry’s office did not immediately comment or confirm the resignation early Tuesday.

Ali also announced “the commitment to a transitional governance arrangement which paves the way for a peaceful transition of power.” He said the commitment includes “the road to free and fair elections,” as well as continuity of governance and near-term security.

Henry has been on U.S. soil since last week, forced to land in Puerto Rico after he was unable to land in Haiti due to threats at the airport. Protesters had been seen outside the hotel he’s believed to be staying in as calls for his resignation grew louder.

The resignation announcement came the same day as leaders of Caribbean nations held an emergency meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, to discuss Haiti’s worsening crisis. Notably, Henry did not attend.

Last weekend, Haiti was sent into a state of emergency after gangs banded together and attacked government institutions, the airport and prisons, setting free thousands of prisoners.

The notorious “G9 and Family” gang leader, Jimmy Cherizier — known as “Barbecue”— threatened more violence if Henry, prime minister since 2021, did not step down.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who flew to Jamaica for Monday’s meeting, said earlier Monday that the U.S. and Caricom, a regional trade bloc, “support a clear political transition plan, led by trusted representatives of Haitian society.”

“Haitians cannot wait any longer for a path to security, stability, and democracy,” Blinken said on social media Monday.

Philippe Branchat, the United Nations International Organization for Migration head in Haiti, has said that the capital of Port-au-Prince is “under siege” and surrounded by armed groups.

Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, has long been in crisis.

Gangs have taken over about 80% of the geography of Port-au-Prince, according to the nonprofit Assessment Capacities Project, which provides data to humanitarian groups.



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