Garry Conille
Haiti's new Prime Minister AFP

Garry Conille was announced as Haiti's new prime minister on Tuesday night, taking the reins of a country whose institutions are under attack by local gangs and is plagued by internal displacement and lack of basic goods and services.

In his first publication since the announcement, Conille said he was "very honored" to be chosen by the transitional council that has taken over the decision-making processes since the resignation of prime minister Ariel Henry.

"Together, we will work for a better tomorrow for all the children of our nation," he wrote in a publication on X. One of the members of the transitional council, which has been immersed in infighting since its conception, said that six of the body's seven members voted for Conille. The remaining one wasn't in the country and didn't vote.

According to The Associated Press, Conille studied medicine and public health, and played a role in providing healthcare services to impoverished communities in the country, especially after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

He had been working as UNICEF's regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean since January 2023, holding another position in the UN before being appointed to the latest post. UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said she wished him "every success in bringing much-needed peace, stability and hope to the children of Haiti."

Conille is the third prime minister announced by the transitional council, which has gone through bumps at the time of agreeing on the officials who should lead the country going forward.

Haiti's transitional council
The members of Haiti's transitional council AFP

In late April, four of the coalition's seven members unexpectedly announced former sports minister Fritz Belizaire for the position, a move quickly met with rejection by the remaining three members. The move threatened to break the fragile council, with the four members withdrawing the nomination and agreeing to change the body's decision making process to keep it alive.

The council is also tasked with forming a new Cabinet and a provisional electoral commission, as well as taking other necessary steps to hold a presidential election in February 2026, when a new head of state is scheduled to be sworn in. Haiti hasn't had a presidential election since 2016.

Conille faces a monumental task, with armed gangs controlling vast swaths of the country, especially capital Port-au-Prince. The country is expecting the arrival of a multi-national force to help fight the gangs, but preparations are experiencing significant delays.

The initial deployment, comprised of some 200 Kenyan police officers, was expected to arrive on May 23 but was postponed after a visit by six Kenyan officials to Port-au-Prince, revealed shortages of crucial equipment, including armored vehicles, weapons, and radios.

Kenya committed to leading the security mission to Haiti in October, pledging up to 1,000 officers to assist the Haitian police in maintaining security. Additional contributions of 1,500 officers were promised by partner countries, including Jamaica, Bangladesh, and Chad.

Meanwhile, Haiti's gangs continue to grow in power, complicating the mission's future. Notably, the once-rival gang alliances G9 and G-Pèp have united against the security mission, forming a group called Vivre Ensemble (Living Together). The alliance has for months conducted coordinated attacks on state institutions, displacing civilians, seizing police stations, and consolidating control over strategic areas of Port-au-Prince.

Moreover, 5 Segonn, one of Haiti's most powerful gangs, recently displayed new high-powered weapons on social media, raising concerns about arms trafficking from Latin America into Haiti. In April, Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced that inspections in two military bases revealed large quantities of missing arms, bullets, and even missiles, suggesting potential connections to criminal groups in Colombia and Haiti.

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