To the Sound of Gunshots, Haiti Installs a New Ruling Council

The prime minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, formally signed his resignation letter on Wednesday, paving the way for a new government and bringing a measure of political stability to a nation mired in gang violence and an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

With the sound of gunshots as a backdrop, the nine members of a transitional council took the oath of office early on Thursday in the National Palace.

“We have served the nation in difficult times,” wrote Mr. Henry, whose resignation letter bore a Los Angeles address. “I sympathize with the losses and suffering endured by our compatriots during this period.”

Mr. Henry, who has been unable to return to the country because of security concerns, had said in March that he would step down once the transitional council was established.

Michel Patrick Boisvert, a former Haitian minister of economy and finance who stepped in for Mr. Henry in his absence, was named as acting prime minister. He and the new governing council now face the challenge of restoring order in Haiti, reforming the constitution and organizing a presidential election.

Armed gangs — some of which are now working together — continue to attack neighborhoods, looting houses, kidnapping civilians, raping women and killing people at random, rights groups say. And the gang leaders have said they intend to do what they can to disrupt the current political process.

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