Haiti: democratic transition authorities elect Garry Conille as new prime minister

Since February of this year, the Caribbean country has been going through its worst political and security crisis since the 2010 earthquake. 80% of the capital is controlled by armed criminal gangs.

Late Tuesday, the Haitian transition council named Gary Conille as the country's new prime minister. The organization had been working for months to build up sufficient support to be able to name a stable leader after the crisis that the country went through in February of this year.

Gary Conille, until now an expert working with the United Nations in Haiti, thus succeeds interim Prime Minister Michel Patrick Boisvert, who stepped forward in April to replace the deposed Ariel Henry.

Conille is 58 and is a doctor by training. He has been the UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean since January 2023 and previously served as Prime Minister of Haiti from October 2011 to May 2012 under then-President Michel Martelly.

The junta's election of Conille for the democratic transition is expected as another step toward stabilizing the country, which is going through its worst political and security crisis in years. In February 2024, Haiti's armed criminal gangs took control of the country and the streets after several prison riots on the island.

The crisis deepened when Prime Minister Ariel Henry traveled from Haiti to Kenya to request military and police support to combat the escalating crime. The gangs running rampant in the streets of Port-au-Prince had become so uncontrollable that Henry could not return to Haiti with even minimal security guarantees.

Gang violence continues to rise in some areas of Haiti's capital and beyond, as Conille takes the helm of the troubled Caribbean country awaiting the deployment of a UN-backed police force from Kenya and other countries. It is estimated that 80% of the capital is under the control of armed gangs.