May 19, 2024

BREAKING,

Announcement comes amid emergency CARICOM summit on the crisis in Haiti.

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry has resigned, according to Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Guyana’s president and the current chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

74-year-old Henry tendered his resignation after CARICOM leaders held an emergency summit on the situation in Haiti where gang-led violence amid repeatedly postponed elections has caused chaos.

“We acknowledge his resignation upon the establishment of a transitional presidential council and naming of an interim prime minister,” Ali said, thanking Henry for his service.

The alliance of gangs, led by Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, had warned of civil war if Henry, who became prime minister after the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise, did not step down.

Cherizier’s gangs went on the rampage when Henry was out of the country last week, seeking to rally support for a Kenya-led foreign police intervention his government had argued was necessary to restore order so that elections could be held.

Henry, who was supposed to step down in February, has since been effectively locked out of the country and landed in Puerto Rico last week after being denied entry into the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

CARICOM’s Ali said the emergency talks, which took place in Jamaica, were seeking to bring “stability and normalcy” to Haiti, the poorest country in the region.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was also at the summit and promised an additional $100m for a United Nations-backed force to stabilise the country, as well as $30m in humanitarian assistance.

Blinken said the meeting was “critical” for Haiti and the region.

The US backed “a proposal developed in partnership with CARICOM and Haitian stakeholders to expedite a political transition through a creation of a broad based, independent presidential college,” the State Department said in a statement.

The body would be tasked with meeting the “immediate needs” of Haitian people, enabling the security mission’s deployment and creating security conditions necessary for free elections, Blinken said.

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