Haiti's new leader faces health scare


 Haiti's newly selected prime minister, Garry Conille, was hospitalised late Saturday in the capital of Port-au-Prince just days after arriving in the country, the government said.

It wasn't immediately known why Conille was hospitalised.

The office of the prime minister said in a statement that Conille was feeling slightly unwell "following a week of intense activities."

It did not provide further details except to say that Conille was stable and that he thanked those who visited him and wished him well.

Louis Gérald Gilles, a member of the transitional presidential council that recently chose Conille as leader of the troubled Caribbean country, told The Associated Press that he was at the hospital but unable to provide further information.

A person close to Conille, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, told AP that he was with the prime minister when he noticed Conille, who he said is asthmatic and sometimes uses an inhaler, appeared to have trouble breathing.

The person said he called high-ranking officials and told them Conille needed to be taken to the hospital.

A spokesman for Conille did not return messages for comment.

A handful of curious onlookers gathered outside the hospital as authorities blocked the street with tinted-glass SUVs.

Conille was chosen as prime minister on May 28 after a convoluted selection process.

He arrived in Haiti on June 1, having worked outside the country until recently as UNICEF's regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, a post he assumed in January 2023.

He previously served as Haiti's prime minister from October 2011 to May 2012 under then-President Michel Martelly.

Conille has been meeting with multiple officials and visiting various parts of Port-au-Prince since arriving, including climbing into an armoured vehicle to go along on a patrol with officers from Haiti's National Police.

Earlier Saturday, Conille toured Haiti's main international airport, which recently reopened after gang violence forced it to close for nearly three months.

"After a long period in which the airport could not be used, with my work and that of the police, the army and the airport staff, we have been able to return to normal," Conille said during the visit.

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