Presidential Transitional Council sworn in, Blockage of oil terminal leads to fears of fuel shortages, MSS mission to be deployed end of May

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Situation on the Presidential Transitional Council (CPT)

  • The members of the Presidential Transitional Council were sworn in on 25 April at the National Palace, with the Prime Minister Ariel Henry having resigned the previous day.
  • The ceremony had to be relocated due to gang threats, having originally been planned to take place in the government’s Villa d’Accueil. The prominent gang leader, Jimmy Chérizier, also known as Barbecue, published a video disapproving of the swearing in of the council. 
  • Chérizier stated: “Viv Ansanm is ready to talk. It’s either we are all at the table, or the table gets destroyed with all of us”. Viv Ansanm is a coalition of several gangs. 
  • Edgard Leblanc Fils has been elected as the president of the CPT. He is the representative of the collective of 30 January, a group of several political parties, and the former president of the Haitian Senate.
  • Fritz Bélizaire has been chosen by the CPT as the new Prime Minister. He served as Sports minister between 2006 and 2011, but is largely unknown in the country.
  • Some members of the CPT have expressed discontent at the designation of Bélizaire as Prime Minister, stating that this goes against the agreement signed on 3 April, which delineated that each sector must first present their candidate in writing to the CPT.
  • The Montana Accord, a civil society organisation represented in the CPT, said it is opposed to the selection, stating that it was a conspiracy decided on in the middle of the night.
  • The majority bloc that voted in favour of Edgar Leblanc Fils and Fritz Bélizaire consists of the EDE/RED/historic compromise, the agreement of 21 December, the collective of 30 January, and the party Pitit Desalin. 

Situation in Haiti

  • On 25 April gunfire was heard across Port-au-Prince, including in Champ-de-Mars, Carrefour de l’Aéroport, and Delmas, areas controlled by Jimmy Chérizier. Gunshots were also fired in Delmas and Solino on 30 April. 
  • Gangs have been blocking the access to the Varreux oil terminal with roadblocks for almost two weeks. Two ships transporting hundreds of millions of barrels of fuel are unable to dock at the terminal due to the insecurity, creating a high risk of a total fuel shortage.
  • The commune of Arcahaie, to the North of Port-au-Prince, was attacked on 23 April. 
  • The Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Port-au-Prince was vandalised and looted on 21 April. This brings the number of university departments that were looted in March and April up to five. The headquarters of the newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, was vandalised on 26 April.
  • 13 gang members were arrested in Les Cayes during a police operation.
  • It is estimated that 90% of Port-au-Prince is under gang control, with 2.7 million people living in those areas. At least 2,500 people have been confirmed killed, injured, or kidnapped so far in 2024. 
  • Over 90,000 people are displaced in Port-au-Prince. In the entire country, 180,000 children are currently internally displaced and three million children are in need of humanitarian assistance in Haiti.
  • There are big concerns about the healthcare system in Haiti, as treatments of HIV/AIDS and TB have been disrupted, as well as vaccination campaigns, epidemic control and the prevention of chronic diseases. Cholera cases are climbing every day, with around 80,000 cases currently.
  • Schools in Port-au-Prince have now been closed for around three months. Many schools cannot be reopened, as some have been burned down, others are used as bases for gangs, and many are currently housing IDPs.
  • The insecurity in the country has also led to the closure of university departments. The obstacles in education lead to concerns about a shortage of lecturers in the coming years, as well as a halt in economic mobility.
  • In an interview with CNN, Vitel’homme Innocent, leader of the Kraze Baryé gang who is among the top 10 wanted by the FBI, stated that he wants to get rid of the oligarchs in the country and emphasised the importance of gang representation in the governance of the country.

Situation on the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission

  • It has been stated that the deployment of the MSS could start on 23 May, with a first deployment of 200 personnel, coinciding with a visit by Kenyan President Ruto to Washington.
  • The construction of the U.S. facility meant to house members of the MSS mission, to include a base and medical facility, has not yet started, leading to concerns about where the troops would be housed when deployment starts.

International situation

  • Pope Francis said that he is thinking about the struggles the people in Haiti are facing, during a mass on St. Mark’s square in Venice. He also stated that he hopes that the installation of the Presidential Transitional Council will bring needed stability to the country.
  • A United Nations expert on human rights in Haiti, William O’Neil, discussed the importing of arms into Haiti, stating that the U.S. knows which ships the weapons are on and that an arms embargo should be implemented.

Links of interest

Haiti PM Ariel Henry resigns as transitional council is sworn in
TPC holds secret swearing-in ceremony at Haiti’s National Palace, as Ariel Henry’s government officially departs
Edgard Leblanc désigné, par 4 membres sur 7, président du Conseil présidentiel de transition
Edgard Leblanc Fils, président sans élection
Fritz Bélizaire, premier ministre désigné, déjà contesté
New Haiti PM tasked with stabilising violence-racked country
New Haiti PM named but powerful gangs demand seat at the table
Il n’y a pas eu de consensus ni sur Edgard Leblanc Fils ni sur Fritz Bélizaire, soutient Leslie Voltaire
CPT: Un accord a donné naissance à la majorité du 30 avril
Les remous de l’actualité 30 April 2024
Haiti situation ‘catastrophic’ and growing worse, UN warns
Violence: le terminal pétrolier Varreux hors service, crainte d’une « pénurie totale »
Les Cayes : 13 bandits arrested
Haiti Emergency Situation Report No. 20 (As of 24 April 2024)
UNICEF chief warns of ‘catastrophic’ situation in Haiti
Haiti: WHO Concerned About Access to Health Care
Haiti: Education keeps hope alive amidst the chaos
Les remous de l’actualité 29 April 2024
The Nouvelliste, Oldest Haitian Newspaper, Vandalized, ANMH Expresses Solidarity and Concern
Gangs forced out Haiti’s government. This FBI ‘Most Wanted’ gang leader claims they’re liberating the country
Deployment of the Mission before the end of May ?
World News in Brief: Support for Haiti mission, challenge of ‘commodity dependence’, Iran’s ‘strict’ hijab law
Kenyan forces are about to land in Haiti — with nowhere clear to stay
Pope Francis speaks about struggles facing people of Haiti during Venice mass
Haiti Can’t Survive Without the Kenyan-Led International Security Force

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