Haiti’s Ariel Henry steps down as PM amid rising regional chaos

Haiti’s Ariel Henry steps down as PM amid rising regional chaos

Following his resignation, a senior US official said Henry was free to remain in Puerto Rico or travel elsewhere

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry speaks during the Leaders’ Second Plenary Session during the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, US, June 10, 2022. — Reuters

Prime Minister of Haiti Ariel Henry resigned amid escalating chaos, according to regional leaders on Monday, who also said that the resignation will go into effect once a transition council and temporary replacement are appointed.

The resignation of Henry, who led the Caribbean country since the 2021 assassination of its last president, was confirmed by Guyana’s leader and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) President Irfaan Ali.

Ali stated: “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.”

Under Henry’s administration, armed gangs grew their wealth, influence, and territory, prompting the 74-year-old neurosurgeon to seek Kenya’s support for a United Nations-backed security mission.

However, the situation escalated, leaving Henry stranded in Puerto Rico, prompting regional leaders to call for a swift transition.

“The government that I am leading will resign immediately after the installation of (a transition) council,” Henry said in a video address. “I want to thank the Haitian people for the opportunity I had been granted.”

“I’m asking all Haitians to remain calm and do everything they can for peace and stability to come back as fast as possible,” he added.

Following his resignation, videos shared on social media across Haiti showed people celebrating in the street, dancing to music in a party atmosphere and and launching fireworks.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Henry was free to remain in Puerto Rico or travel elsewhere. He also said that security in Haiti would need improvement for him to return home.

The official said the resignation had been decided on Friday.

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