Garry Conille
Haitian Prime Minister AFP

Haiti's newly-appointed prime minister Garry Conille announced the formation of a new transitional government, which will face the monumental task of countering the current state of chaos the Caribbean country is currently immersed in.

Conille held a ceremony to announce who will be his 14 ministers (down from the originally planned 18) after days of negotiations with the members of the transitional council, which represent the country's different political parties and sectors.

Same as former prime minister Ariel Henry, who resigned amid increased violence by the country's gangs, Conille will keep control of the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for staging elections. One of the interim government's main mandates will be holding elections in 2026, ten years after Haiti last went to the polls.

According to The Miami Herald, most members of the new cabinet are unknown in the political sphere or relative newcomers. Most were suggested by the seven-member transitional council.

Carlos Hercule, the new Justice Minister, will be among those with the most pressing challenges. A lawyer who formerly headed the Port-au-Prince bar association, he will have to rebuild a system facing the escape of over 4,000 inmates, the investigation of late president Jovenel Möise's assassination and negotiate with Kenya the arrival of the long-delayed international mission tasked with fighting gangs.

On Wednesday, a Kenyan court postponed a hearing on a new lawsuit against the deployment of the forces for another two weeks.

Forces were supposed to start arriving on May 23 to coincide with a visit by Ruto to the White House. Prior to leaving the U.S., the head of state said the deployment would take place about three weeks from then. Three weeks on, there is no set date either.

Moreover, there is renewed confusion about whether the foreign cops will be tasked with fighting the gangs or if they will solely protect key government infrastructures like the airport, seaport and the presidential palace.

One key reason for this could be the escalating violence in the territory, especially since a late February surge. According to an analysis piece by InSight Crime, the protracted deployment is giving the criminal organizations more time to prepare for what is anticipated to be a fierce response.

Experts interviewed by InSight Crime remain skeptical about the effectiveness of the Kenyan-led mission. They argue that previous efforts to train the Haitian police by Western countries have yielded limited success. The Haitian National Police, which the mission aims to support, has severely deteriorated, with over 2,000 officers deserting in 2023 alone.

According to the United Nations, Haiti needs approximately 38,000 officers to achieve median levels of policing, yet the current force is estimated to consist of only around 3,000 active officers. Three other officers were killed on Wednesday after gang members ambushed them.

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