Ariel Henry speaking during his installation as prime minister on July 20, 2021. Photo credit: AFP

Haiti’s newest prime minister Ariel Henry took office Tuesday, pledging to organize long-delayed legislative elections and provide safety and security in the country wracked by gang violence. 

At the swearing-in ceremony held two weeks after the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse, Henry promised to facilitate a dialogue between Haiti’s numerous politicians and create a peaceful environment for elections to be held.

“The work starts today,” Henry said at his inaugural speech, while his cabinet members looked on. “One of the government’s priorities will be to reassure the people we will do everything to restore order and security.”

According to watchdog group Fondasyon Je Klere, Creole for Eyes Opened Foundation, about 150 armed gangs are active in Haiti, terrorizing residents in parts of the country in their ongoing battles to gain territory.

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