Haiti Appoints Medic As Latest Prime Minister, But Can He Heal His Nation?

Photo: Public domain. Dr. Garry Conille has been newly appointed as Prime Minister of Haiti.
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Dr. Garry Conille has been named as  Haiti’s latest prime minister by the Transitional Presidential Council, its president Edgard Leblanc Fils said Tuesday.

Conille, who was appointed by six out of seven voting members with voting power on the nine-member council, has already served a spell as prime minister from October 2011 to May 2012 during the presidency of Michel Martelly and he currently holds the post of the UNICEF regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Conille is a medical doctor who specializes in OB-GYN and was a Fulbright scholar who studied in the United States and obtained a Master’s Degree at the University of North Carolina.

Between July 1994 and June 1998, at the Haitian Association for the National Development, he developed and implemented a primary care system that provided basic health care in poor areas of Haiti.

For most of his career he has worked for the United Nations as an administrator and expert in developing health programs, including in Africa. It is not clear whether he is currently resident in Haiti.

Only a month ago, Michel Patrick Boisvert had been named interim prime minister after Ariel Henry resigned in April due to the escalation of violence in the country. Since Feb. 29, gangs have captured airports, police stations, government ministries, prisons and other government facilities. Criminal gangs control most of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and are responsible for widespread abuses including sexual violence, murder, kidnapping and torture.

The selection of Conille as prime minister comes just weeks after former Haitian sports minister Fritz Bélizaire was chosen for the post in late April by a four-member coalition within the nine-member transitional council in a surprise announcement that angered many.

Critics said proper procedure was not followed as dictated by the framework that established the council, so a new process was started to choose a prime minister, with dozens of names submitted for the post.

The hostilities began during the absence of Prime Minister Henry, who was visiting Kenya to finalize details for the deployment of 1,000 police officers to retake control of the Caribbean nation. He was unable to return to the country due to the attacks, and the airport in the capital was closed for almost three months.

The Kenyan-led mission, which was authorized by the United Nations Security Council in October 2023, is expected to be deployed soon. Kenyan President William Ruto recently met with US President Joe Biden in Washington, who pledged to support the mission.

Conille studied medicine and public health and worked with impoverished communities in Haiti, where he helped coordinate reconstruction efforts after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He worked for several yearsat the United Nations before he was appointed as prime minister but resigned less than a year later over disagreements with the president and his Cabinet. He will lead the Caribbean nation until the holding of general elections at the end of next year.

Source: AA.


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