News Americas, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Thurs. April 25, 2024: Amidst the backdrop of a nation grappling with turmoil and unrest, a new provisional government was quietly ushered into power today in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state of Haiti. This significant development comes nearly two months after a criminal insurrection threw the capital into chaos, exacerbating an already volatile situation.

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New Haitian Prime Minister Michel Patrick Boivert speaks during the swearing in of a new transitional council in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on April 25, 2024. A long-awaited transitional ruling council was sworn in in crisis-torn Haiti Thursday, an official told AFP, the first step to forming a new government after months of gang violence in the Caribbean nation. (Photo by CLARENS SIFFROY/AFP via Getty Images)

The formation of a nine-person “transitional council” marked a pivotal moment in the nation’s trajectory, with Prime Minister Ariel Henry, currently in the United States due to the volatile conditions in Haiti, formally announcing his resignation in a letter. Henry, a former neurosurgeon turned politician, assumed power following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, navigating the country through turbulent times.

Smith Augustin (C), member of the new transitional council, speaks to the press after the swearing in of the council in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on April 25, 2024. A long-awaited transitional ruling council was sworn in in crisis-torn Haiti Thursday, an official told AFP, the first step to forming a new government after months of gang violence in the Caribbean nation. (Photo by CLARENS SIFFROY/AFP via Getty Images)

This morning’s early morning swearing-in ceremony was shrouded in secrecy, a precautionary measure taken in light of looming threats of violence. Reports hinted at the possibility of the event being held at an undisclosed government property, underscoring the delicate security situation gripping the nation.

Despite the challenges and risks posed by the prevailing unrest, the United States and a 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-backed council pressed forward with the inauguration, a testament to their commitment to restoring stability and order. Michael Patrick Boisvert, Henry’s former finance minister, assumed the role of interim Prime Minister, tasked with steering the nation through this tumultuous period.

The composition of the Presidential Transitional Council, including prominent figures such as Smith Agustin, Louis Gérald Gilles, Fritz Alphonse Jean, Edgard Leblanc Fils, Laurent Saint-Cyr, Emmanuel Vertilair, Leslie Voltaire, Régine Abraham, and Frinel Joseph, underscores a diverse array of voices tasked with guiding the nation forward. These individuals solemnly took the oath of office at the National Palace before proceeding to the Villa d’Accueil for the formal ceremony and subsequent address.

As the nation navigates its transition period, the selection of a President-coordinator for the Transition Council looms large. Names such as Louis Gérald Gilles, Lesly Voltaire, Edgard Leblanc Fils, and Fritz Alphonse Jean have emerged as potential candidates, though no official announcement has been made thus far.

Against the backdrop of heightened tensions and isolation, the capital city of Port-au-Prince finds itself cut off from the rest of the world, with its international airport and port shuttered due to ongoing gunfights. Meanwhile, roads connecting the city to neighboring regions have fallen under the control of armed groups notorious for their involvement in kidnapping and extortion.

In response to the escalating crisis, foreign governments have initiated evacuation efforts, ferrying hundreds of citizens to safety in the United States and the neighboring Dominican Republic. As Haiti grapples with the complexities of its transition, the international community watches closely, hoping for a swift resolution to the crisis gripping this Caribbean nation.

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