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Haiti inaugurates new cabinet as country looks to end political unrest

PM Garry Conille and transitional council member Regine Abraham speak during the inauguration ceremony for the new cabinet in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wed., June 12, 2024   -  
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Odelyn Joseph/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Haiti

Haiti’s new Cabinet was formally inaugurated on Wednesday, marking the final step in rebuilding the government that will lead a country under siege by gangs.

In his speech, Prime Minister Garry Conille repeated the need to increase security in the country which is within the grips of gang warfare.

He also spoke on the humanitarian crisis gripping the country.

"My dear compatriots, Haiti is facing major challenges. Violence and security are paralysing our daily lives. The humanitarian crisis is exacerbating the suffering of our most vulnerable citizens."

Gangs control at least 80% of the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Haiti is preparing for the U.N.-backed deployment of a police force from Kenya expected in the coming weeks.

Conille also asked for a minute's silence, in memory of three police officers killed by gangs the previous Sunday.

Weeks of coordinated attacks by gangs forced former prime minister Ariel Henry to resign in April, and his Cabinet was dissolved. Gunmen took control of police stations, opened fire on the main international airport that remained closed for nearly three months and stormed Haiti’s two biggest prisons.

More than 2,500 people were killed or injured in the first three months of the year and more than half a million others displaced as Haiti prepares for the U.N.-backed deployment of a police force from Kenya expected in the coming weeks.