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The transitional authorities in Haiti finally created, after weeks of negotiations

Photo: Clarens Siffroy Agence France-Presse Smoke emerges from the offices of the Haitian Ministry of Finance in Port-au-Prince on April 2.

Inès Bel Aiba – Agence France-Presse and Jean-Daniel Senat – Agence France-Presse respectively in Washington and Port-au-Prince

7:18 p.m.

  • Americas

The much-anticipated Haitian presidential transition council was officially created on Friday, following weeks of tense negotiations and a month after the announcement of the resignation of disputed Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

The formation of this body, which will attempt to restore public order and stability, in a country prey to gang violence, was made official by a decree signed by Mr. Henry and published in the official journal, The Monitor.

The council is not yet formally in charge of the country and Ariel Henry “will present the resignation of his government following the appointment of a new prime minister”, specifies the text.

Its members will have to “rapidly” appoint a prime minister as well as an “inclusive” government, according to the document. The council's mandate must end “no later than February 7, 2026.”

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which sponsored the discussions for the formation of the council, welcomed its official creation which allows “a glimpse of the possibility of a new beginning for Haiti”, while recognizing that the country still faced “significant challenges.”

The United States, through a spokesperson for the State Department, for its part spoke of a “positive step towards the restoration of security, to open the way to free and transparent elections and towards the restoration democracy and inclusive governance.”

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Haiti has suffered from chronic political instability for decades. But at the end of February, the gangs, whose violence was already ravaging entire sections of the territory, launched coordinated attacks against strategic sites, saying they wanted to overthrow Ariel Henry.

The latter, appointed a few days before the assassination in 2021 of President Jovenel Moïse, was strongly contested. He was unable to return to his country after a trip to Kenya.

On March 11, the same day as a meeting between Haitians and several organizations and countries such as the United States, he announced that he would resign to make way for a transitional presidential council.

“Protect the population”

It took several weeks of complex negotiations, marked by reversals, for the council to see the light of day. In question, disagreements between political parties and other stakeholders but also with the outgoing government, not to mention doubts about the very legality of such a body.

The council will be composed of seven voting members, representing the main political forces in Haiti and the private sector. The decree cites the political parties chosen, but does not mention by name the people who should be part of them.

Two observers without the right to vote will also represent the voice of civil society, the other of the religious community.

People charged or convicted by the courts, under UN sanctions, intending to run in the next elections in Haiti and/or opposing the UN resolution on the deployment of a multinational mission will be excluded from the council. 'support for security.

The Haitian Ministry of Culture and Communication called on “the personalities designated by stakeholders to be part” of the council to submit to the authorities the required documents for approval.

For Gédéon Jean, director of the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights (CARDH), a Haitian NGO, the creation of the body is “an important step”.< /p>

“However, this step is not an end in itself,” he told AFP. “We will have to create the safe conditions so that the council can work but above all protect the population, the first priority. »

“Without the restoration of security, the members of the council will not be able to exercise their powers,” he insisted.

Without a president or parliament, Haiti has not had an election since 2016.

The capital is 80% in the hands of criminal gangs, accused of numerous abuses, in particular murders, rapes, looting and kidnappings for ransom.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Friday that nearly 100,000 people had fled the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince in one month to seek shelter from escalation of gang attacks.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116