The leader of the G9 gang, Jimmy Chérizier, aka barbecue, obtained a first victory in the conflict he unleashed against the Haitian authorities: he obtained the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry. He had been demanding it since February 29, the day he launched a vast insurrection movement by bringing together all the gangs in Port-au-Prince and attacking numerous state representations, from prisons to the palace. presidential via hospitals.

They blocked the airport and managed to take control of the port for a few days. “If Ariel Henry does not resign, if the international community continues to support him, we are heading straight towards a civil war which will lead to genocide,” Jimmy Chérizier told the press last week.

The announcement of the prime minister’s resignation was made from Jamaica by the president of Caricom, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, president of Guayana. Caricom brings together most of the Caribbean countries. Also present in Kingston were US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and representatives from France, Mexico, Kenya and Benin.

Also readCrisis in Haiti: how a police officer became “Barbecue”, the most powerful gang leader in Port-au-Prince

Kenya has agreed to lead a multinational mission to support the security of Haiti. Antony Blinken announced $300 million in funding to support the deployment of this mission and $33 million in humanitarian aid.

A presidential council of seven members will be created. He will be responsible for appointing a prime minister and preparing for elections. There have been no elections since 2016 in Haiti. There is no longer a parliament, no more president, no more democratically elected mayors. Ariel Henry took over as head of state under questionable conditions after President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in July 2021.

The seven members of the presidential council will be designated by civil society organizations which, since 2021, have not been able to agree on a transition process: the collective of January 30, Accord Montana, Famni Lavalas, Accord of December 21 , Piti Desalmin by Moïse Jean-Charles. Churches are invited as observers to participate in the Presidential Council.

“We do not yet know how power will be distributed in the council or between the prime minister and the government,” analyzes Frantz Duval, director of the main Haitian daily, Le Nouvelliste. We do not know what place will be given to politicians and what place will be given to technicians. We also don’t know what the reactions will be from the gangs who now see themselves as leader-makers.”

Also read: In Haiti, images of a country that threatens to sink into a “civil war”

Ariel Henry is currently in Puerto Rico. Gangs prevented him from returning to Port-au-Prince last week by blocking the airport. He was returning from Kenya where he discussed with the government the deployment of the international mission to support the security of Haiti. Since the start of the week, activity has partially resumed in Port-au-Prince, even if schools and universities are still closed.

Several educational establishments are occupied by displaced populations who had to flee their neighborhoods because of the abuses of criminal gangs. Several tens of thousands of residents of Port-au-Prince are currently homeless and living on the streets or in precarious shelters. Food supplies are disrupted and most stores have remained closed for the past week. The blockage of the port, of which the Haitian Security Forces regained control on Sunday, disrupted the supply of food and medicine. Most hospitals are on the verge of collapse and can no longer care for patients in good conditions.

The main unknown now is the reaction of the gangs. The prospect of the deployment of a multinational force risks heightening tensions. Especially since there is no consensus on this subject in the political class and in civil society. The previous ones left a very bad memory. In 2010, a cholera epidemic hit the country, causing the death of 10,000 Haitians and infecting 800,000 people. Its origin was a battalion of Nepalese belonging to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah) which discharged its wastewater directly into a river without any prior treatment.