Police guard outside the hospital where Haiti's newly selected prime minister, Garry Conille was hospitalized in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on June 8, 2024.

Police guard outside the hospital where Haiti's newly selected prime minister, Garry Conille was hospitalized in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on June 8, 2024. (Odelyn Joseph/AP)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti’s newly selected prime minister, Garry Conille, was hospitalized late Saturday in the capital of Port-au-Prince just days after arriving in the country, an official told The Associated Press.

It wasn’t immediately known why Conille was hospitalized.

Louis Gérald Gilles, a member of the transitional presidential council that recently chose Conille as leader of the troubled Caribbean country, said he was en route to the hospital and was unable to provide further information.

A person close to Conille, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, told AP that he was with the prime minister when he noticed Conille 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 immediately return a message for comment.

AP journalists observed high-ranking officials entering the hospital, including Frantz Elbé, director of Haiti’s National Police. Also present was Bruno Maes, UNICEF’s representative in Haiti. They both declined 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 May 28 after a convoluted selection process. He faces an arduous task as Haiti’s newest leader, including quelling widespread gang violence as the country prepares for the U.N.-backed deployment of a Kenyan police force, a move that was delayed in part because Haiti lacked a premier after former Prime Minister Ariel Henry stepped down April 25.

Henry was on an official visit to Kenya when gangs launched coordinated attacks Feb. 29, burning police stations, shooting at the country’s main international airport and storming Haiti’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates. The violence left Henry locked out of the country and eventually led to his resignation.

Conille 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 armored vehicle wearing a helmet and flak jacket 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. On Friday, he met with leaders of the private business sector as well as the country’s two telecommunications companies.

Conille also had been meeting regularly with the transitional council as they debated who should be appointed to Haiti’s new Cabinet.

Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Associated Press video journalist Pierre-Richard Luxama contributed to this report.

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