Haiti: Uncertainty After Prime Minister Henry’s Resignation

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, stranded in Puerto Rico after his country’s dominant gangs took control of Port-au-Prince airport, has vowed to resign. Developments now are unpredictable. The curfew has been extended for several days, and the “state of emergency” will remain in effect until April 3.

The situation was discussed in Jamaica. The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The idea of forming a transitional government in Haiti was suggested there. However, Haitian crime leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier rejected such a hypothesis. He explained that his alliance Vivre Ensemble (Living Together) will continue fighting, with the aim to free Haiti from corrupt politicians and oligarchs. Although uncertainty reigns everywhere, there are signs of calm and decreased violence in Port-au-Prince after the prime minister’s announced resignation, Reuters reported. The main cargo port has reopened, although the airport is still closed.

Henry has led the country since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021. But he was never elected and never set a date for a popular vote. He reasoned that security in the country would have to be restored first. In late February, he flew to Nairobi to discuss organizing a UN-backed, Kenyan-led security mission. The mission is to support the Haitian police, who have been unable to contain mass violence for months. Henry never returned to the country from abroad and announced his resignation, which was welcomed by the population.

“The government I lead will resign as soon as a transitional council is established,” was Henry’s latest statement. “I ask all Haitians to remain calm and to do everything possible to ensure the speedy return of peace and stability.”