Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril has fired two widely criticized Cabinet ministers in his first high-level personnel move since rank-and-file soldiers brought him to power eight months ago.

The government decree, read Saturday on state radio, came less than six weeks after the Haitian leader narrowly escaped an attempt by some officers to overthrow him.The two Cabinet members, Foreign Affairs Minister Serge Charles and Information Minister Anthony Saint-Pierre, caused a public outcry for their role in granting a safe conduct pass out of Haiti in December to former Mayor Franck Romain.

A massacre Sept. 11 of at least 12 parishioners in a slum church outraged soldiers and spurred the ouster of former ruler Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy.