Haiti in Crisis Sets Up Ruling Council, Clearing Way for an Acting Leader

A new transitional ruling council was finalized in Haiti on Friday to try to bring political stability to a country wracked by escalating gang violence and a worsening humanitarian crisis.

The council’s formation, announced in an official state-run bulletin, comes after gangs who have a brutal grip on much of the capital prevented the prime minister, Ariel Henry, from returning to the country after a trip overseas and ultimately pushed him to announce his resignation.

The presidential transition council is tasked with restoring law and order through the appointment of an acting prime minister to head a new government as well as to pave the way for the election of a new president.

A coalition of armed gangs has had control of most of the capital, Port-au-Prince, since it launched an offensive in late February, destroying police stations and government offices, looting banks and hospitals and killing and kidnapping hundreds of people.

The establishment of the council was hashed out in Jamaica last month by a regional Caribbean Community bloc, CARICOM, along with the United States, France and Canada after it became clear that Mr. Henry would no longer be able to govern Haiti.

But the selection of the body’s members was delayed after several names were withdrawn out of safety fears or because ethical issues had become a concern.

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