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In response to ongoing gang violence in Haiti, the newly installed government has made changes to the leadership of the national police force. Frantz Elbe has been replaced as police chief by former chief Rameau Normil. This move comes as Prime Minister Garry Conille faces pressure to strengthen the Haitian National Police, which has been struggling with limited resources in the fight against powerful armed gangs. Conille was appointed by a transitional council after gangs took control of parts of the capital earlier in the year and deposed former Prime Minister Ariel Henry. The decision to replace Elbe was welcomed by human rights groups and police unions, who criticized his leadership and alleged connections to gangs.

Police unions in Haiti have been vocal in their criticism of the state of the police force under Elbe, with calls for his resignation and arrest. The SPNH-17 police union and SYNAPOHA have condemned the dire conditions of the department and urged Conille to improve the situation. The delay in the deployment of a multinational security force, led by Kenya and backed by the UN, has added to the challenges faced by the police in dealing with gang violence. Normil, who previously led the national police under former President Jovenel Moise, will now take over as police chief and is expected to bring about changes to address the crisis.

Haiti’s police force has been struggling with a lack of resources while facing criminal groups armed with high-caliber weapons. The UN has highlighted the trafficking of weapons from the US as a major challenge. With a limited number of police officers on duty at any given time, Haiti has seen a rise in attacks on police stations and substations, resulting in the deaths of officers. Complaints from police officers include issues such as late pay, lack of training, harassment, dismissal threats, injuries from weapons, and shortages of equipment. The new government under Conille has vowed to address these challenges and improve security in the country.

Prime Minister Conille has emphasized the importance of security in achieving sustainable progress in Haiti. He has pledged to support the police and military in facing security challenges and ensuring they have the necessary tools to carry out their duties effectively. The Citizens’ Protection Office has called on Normil to develop a plan to tackle gang violence and strengthen the police force promptly. The office has also demanded explanations for the high rate of killings and the recent mass escape of prisoners under the watch of previous authorities. Gang violence in Haiti has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, caused numerous deaths, and increased food insecurity for millions.

The situation in Haiti remains critical, with ongoing gang violence posing a significant threat to the population. The replacement of the police chief and the government’s commitment to improving security are steps in the right direction, but much more needs to be done to address the root causes of the crisis. The delayed deployment of the multinational security force underscores the challenges faced by the police force. Haiti’s new leadership will need to work diligently to strengthen the police force, combat gang violence, and restore stability in the country. The international community’s support will also be crucial in addressing the security and humanitarian crisis in Haiti.

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