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Haiti PM Ariel Henry resigns amid pressure, chaos

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry has resigned amid pressure and chaos in the Caribbean nation. He became the Prime Minister in 2021 following the assassination of the country’s last president, Jovenel Moise.

Henry has issued his resignation as the Caribbean nation’s head of government, the chair of the Caribbean Community said on Monday.

“We acknowledge his resignation upon the establishment of a transitional presidential council and naming of an interim prime minister,” said Caribbean Community chair Irfaan Ali, also the president of Guyana, thanking Henry for his service to Haiti.

Henry travelled to Kenya late last month to secure the leadership of a UN-backed international security mission to help police fight armed gangs, but a drastic escalation of violence in the capital Port-au-Prince during his absence left him stranded in the US territory of Puerto Rico.

Henry’s resignation comes as regional leaders met earlier on Monday in nearby Jamaica to discuss the framework for a political transition, which the US urged last week to be “expedited” while gangs called for Henry to step down.

Regional officials have been engaged in talks involving members of Haiti’s political parties, the private sector, civil society, and religious groups aimed at establishing the transition council that would pave the way to the first elections since 2016.

Henry, who many Haitians consider corrupt, had repeatedly postponed elections, saying security must first be restored.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had earlier on Monday called for the creation of a “broad-based, inclusive, independent presidential college”.

This council 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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