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Acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry Resigns

Ariel Henry the embattled leader of Haiti, has officially resigned, as announced by regional leaders following weeks of intensifying turmoil in the Caribbean nation. Gangs have been assaulting government structures, pushing social order to the brink of collapse. Henry submitted his resignation, as confirmed by regional bloc CARICOM officials on Monday night.

“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,” stated CARICOM President Irfaan Ali, who is also the leader of Guyana. CARICOM, a regional bloc comprising 25 countries focused on economic integration, security, and social development, held a meeting on Haiti in Kingston, Jamaica, on Monday, according to the UN.

Amidst escalating violence last week, Henry was in Kenya to finalize an agreement to deploy 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti, attempting to restore the security situation that had slipped out of his government’s control.

Under pressure from the US to secure a political settlement, the succession plan remains unclear. One potential contender is Guy Philippe, a former rebel leader recently deported from the US to Haiti after serving time for money laundering.

Henry assumed power in 2021 following the assassination of Haiti’s president but faced mounting criticism for delaying elections scheduled for the previous month, citing safety concerns. Protests against his leadership intensified as Haiti grappled with poverty and escalating gang violence.

Since Henry’s trip to Kenya, Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, has witnessed a surge in coordinated gang attacks on law enforcement and state institutions, leading to the displacement of tens of thousands of residents. The state of emergency was declared on Sunday after armed groups attacked the country’s largest prison in Port-au-Prince, resulting in casualties, escaped inmates, and further chaos.

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