ORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 24 — Haiti’s new cabinet met for the first time on Wednesday to discuss disarming gunmen in a country terrorized by rebels, street gangs and escaped convicts despite the presence of thousands of United States-led peacekeepers.
Haitian police officers were among those accused of fueling the turmoil, with a report on Wednesday that five officers had been detained on suspicion of killing five supporters of the party of the exiled president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The National Coalition for Haitian Rights reported that the victims’ relatives said the officers had rounded up and executed the men, who were between 17 and 24 years old. The officers were detained on Monday, but no charges were filed.
The police have also been accused of brutalizing opponents of Mr. Aristide, who fled the country on Feb. 29. Scores of police officers were among more than 300 people killed in the revolt. Hundreds fled before the rebels, who burned police stations and freed thousands of prisoners.
A month later, rebels, street gangs and convicts remain in charge in many places. In Les Cayes, on the southeastern peninsula, gangs carried out a public execution on Monday, reported a United Nations relief worker, Fernando Arroyo.
Mr. Arroyo said that a 14-year-old boy caught stealing was chased by a mob, which dragged him before an improvised jury that ordered him shot to death.
In Fort Liberté, there were reports that a gang of convicts was “basically running the place,” Mr. Arroyo said.
A reporter for The Associated Press said he had watched Louis-Jodel Chamblain, a rebel leader and convicted assassin, acting as judge in the northern port of Cap Haitien, where Aristide supporters and French peacekeepers said that bodies were still appearing in the bay.
Mr. Chamblain had been holding court despite the arrival last week of 150 French troops and the return of about 50 police officers.
Mr. Arroyo said the “still chaotic” situation was stifling access for aid workers.
In Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, dockworkers began loading 1,550 tons of food onto a ship that is expected to arrive in Cap Haitien on Saturday to help feed 180,000 people in northern Haiti, the World Food Program said.