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Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign, ceding power amid soaring gang violence

Haiti Prime Minister, Ariel Henry resigns as armed gangs push for war

Acting Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced late Monday he would resign, saying he will cede power to a presidential council following weeks of soaring anti-government violence led by an alliance of gangs.

“The government that I am leading cannot remain indifferent to this situation. There is no sacrifice too big for our country,” Henry said in a video posted to official government channels.

He added, “My government will leave immediately after the installation of this council.”

The resignation had been earlier announced by the current chair of regional governing block Caribbean Community, known as CARICOM, who spoke at a press conference late Monday evening in Kingston, Jamaica.

“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. I want to pause and thank Prime Minister Henry for his service to Haiti,” said Irfaan Ali, the current chair of CARICOM and president of Guyana.

The announcement came as gangs have launched an armed rebellion in Port-au-Prince this month, attacking a series of government targets over the last two weeks. Gang leadership had called for Henry to resign, leading to rampant speculation over how he would respond.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday the U.S. “welcomes” the outcome of the meeting that created a transitional Presidential Council for Haiti, and commended Henry for “putting his country and Haitians first, agreeing to step down once this council is established.”

“We know there’s a lot of work ahead, but these are positive steps to pave the way for the Haitian people, to elect their leaders, stabilize their country, and determine their future,” Sullivan said.

In response to Haiti’s gang leaders rejecting the plan brokered by American and Caribbean officials to carry out a transfer of power, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said their opposition “just reinforced the urgency” of deploying a multinational security mission “to establish law and order on the ground, which of course the gang members fear and oppose.”

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign, ceding power amid soaring gang violence

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