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Haiti to replace national police head with former chief

By Thomson Reuters Jun 14, 2024 | 4:21 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti will replace the head of its national police force, Frantz Elbe, with former chief Rameau Normil, the prime minister’s office told Reuters on Friday.

The Haitian National Police, or PNH, have been at the forefront of a battle against powerful armed gangs that have taken over most of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The fast-shrinking police force has suffered from lack of resources while fighting the criminal groups, armed with high-caliber weapons the United Nations believes are largely trafficked from the nearby United States.

It is overseen by the Justice and Public Security Ministry, which was taken over by lawyer Carlos Hercule as part of the formation of Prime Minister Garry Connille’s cabinet, which formally took the reins on Wednesday.

The police force has been in talks with counterparts from Kenya, which was pledged to lead a long-delayed security support mission which Haiti’s former government requested back in 2022.

Last weekend, Kenyan President William Ruto said an initial deployment of Kenyan police officers could land in a couple weeks.

(Reporting by Harold Isaac; Writing by Sarah Morland; Editing by Kylie Madry)