Politics, Americas

Haiti appoints new prime minister as gangs continue to terrorize country

Garry Conille was prime minister from October 2011 to May 2012

Laura Gamba  | 29.05.2024 - Update : 30.05.2024
Haiti appoints new prime minister as gangs continue to terrorize country

BOGOTA, Colombia

Garry Conille was named Haiti's new prime minister by the Transitional Presidential Council, its president Edgard Leblanc Fils said Tuesday.

Conille, who was appointed by six out of seven members with voting power on the nine-member council, served as prime minister from October 2011 to May 2012 during the presidency of Michel Martelly and is currently the UNICEF regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Only a month ago, Michel Patrick Boisvert had been named interim prime minister after Ariel Henry resigned in April due to the escalation of violence in the country. Since Feb. 29, gangs have captured airports, police stations, government ministries, prisons and other government facilities. Criminal gangs control most of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and are responsible for widespread abuses including sexual violence, murder, kidnapping and torture.

The hostilities began during the absence of Prime Minister Henry, who was visiting Kenya to finalize details for the deployment of 1,000 police officers to retake control of the Caribbean nation. He was unable to return to the country due to the attacks, and the airport in the capital was closed for almost three months.

The Kenyan-led mission, which was authorized by the United Nations Security Council in October 2023, is expected to be deployed soon. Kenyan President William Ruto recently met with US President Joe Biden in Washington, who pledged to support the mission.

Conille studied medicine and public health and worked with impoverished communities in Haiti, where he helped coordinate reconstruction efforts after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He worked for several years at the United Nations before he was appointed as prime minister but resigned less than a year later over disagreements with the president and his Cabinet. He will lead the Caribbean nation until the holding of general elections at the end of next year.

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