Security concerns complicate council’s appointment of Haiti’s interim leader

  • The formation of a committee tasked with selecting an interim replacement for outgoing Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been hampered by serious security concerns.
  • One member of the nine-member committee resigned on Sunday after receiving death threats, leaving organizers scrambling to find a replacement.
  • Haiti has been suffering from massive sociopolitical unrest since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, with crime and gang violence rampant under Henry’s government, which has long failed to deliver on its promise to hold new elections.

New unrest involving the transitional presidential committee tasked with choosing Haiti’s new leader has triggered a series of meetings caribbean leaders There are also officials from the United States, Canada and France, officials said Monday.

A district official who was not authorized to speak to the media said the committee has not yet been sworn in due to concerns including the safety of its members. Associated Press On condition of anonymity. The official is based in Guyana, which is the headquarters of the Caribbean Community regional trade group that is helping to create the transitional committee.

The establishment of the commission has been delayed as criminal gangs continue to carry out attacks in the Haitian capital. Since February 29, gunmen have burned down police stations, opened fire on the main international airport, which remains closed, and attacked the country’s two largest prisons, freeing more than 4,000 inmates.

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The attack left dozens dead and more than 33,000 people fled the capital, Port-au-Prince.

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The latest person chosen to represent EDE/RED, one of several political parties and groups in Haiti with a seat on the nine-member council, resigned on Sunday, forcing the council to scramble to find a replacement. UNESCO Ambassador Dominique Dupuy said in a video statement that she resigned in part because she had been the target of political attacks and death threats.

Montana Accord (Montana Accord), an organization of civil society leaders, holds a seat on the committee. The group said in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday that it supports Dupuy and her family “at a time when she is being persecuted and threatened.”

“Society must remain vigilant against all political manipulation based on fear and terror,” the report said. “It is time for us to stop the violence.”

Dupuy was quickly replaced, returning the committee to nine members, seven of whom have voting rights but have not yet been sworn in.

Young people take cover after hearing gunshots at a public school providing shelter for people displaced by gang violence, Friday, March 22, 2024, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP Photo/Odrin Joseph)

It is unclear when the commission will be formally announced, with its members and officials and CARICOM set to hold another meeting on Monday.

Officials hope rampant gang violence will subside once the council elects Haiti’s new leader and appoints a council of ministers. Prime Minister Ariel Henry He has said he will resign once the committee is formed.

While gang violence has subsided in recent days, gunmen set fire to a large open-air garage in downtown Port-au-Prince on Sunday.

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“A lot of people lost everything,” attorney Joseph James said. “We can’t save anything.”

Mechanic Elido Samuel rummaged through the scorched earth Monday morning, hoping to find some salvage items.

“All my tools were burned,” he said. “What do I do now?

Romain LeCour of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime said in an analysis released on Monday that “criminal gangs appear not to be resorting to all-out war, but rather a strategy of maximum pressure, including attacks and lulls. “

He said research by the Switzerland-based civil society group suggested the strategy may not be just a decision made by gang leaders but could be “the result of relationships that still link them to their political bosses, who Fluid red lines may be set without knowing it.” Renounce the use of violence for political purposes. “

LeCour shares the concerns of others about Haiti’s delays in finding new leadership.

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“The inability of the Presidential Transition Council to function is a testament to the constant conflict in Haiti’s political scene and the growing power of guns and political crime brokers,” he said.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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