Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in an attack on his private residence in Port-au-Prince at 1:00am local time on the 7th of July, 2021.
According to news reports, the First Lady Matine Moïse has also been injured in the encounter and has been hospitalised in South Florida. As per reports she is in a stable yet critical condition.
In a statement made by interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, it was announced that the President’s residence was charged by a group of unidentified armed men with suspected “foreign elements”. The Prime Minister further pacified the public by stating that “all measures are being taken to guarantee the continuance of the state and to protect the nation.”
The President had held office since February 2017, but repeatedly faced charges of corruption and was often met with recurring and violent ‘anti-government’ protests.
The ‘PetroCaribe’ scandal in 2020 was the most recent incident. Having denied any part of this road building project, the President went on to change the constitution, giving the government more power. Claiming to “end the bickering”, the President, though satisfied, faced immense backlash following the new constitution, given the dictatorial history of the country. After the closure of his parliament, the broken political system was brought to light, and his extended period in office was further criticized.
Hours after the deadly attack, police chief Leon Charles stated that the assassins “will be killed and captured.” Four of the suspected perpetrators have been shot by security forces while two others have been detained. The police chief claims that the attackers were intercepted as they left the crime scene, and have since been in combat with armed forces.
Any links to the US drug agents to be behind the attack have been proven false. The “state of siege” has further enabled the use of the military for police roles and extensions of executive powers until elections can be called for.
The UN Security Council is set to hold a ‘closed-door’ meeting on Thursday, 8th July, and have encouraged all political stakeholders in Haiti to refrain from any acts of incitement or violence.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that the safety and security of the nation remains “under control.” He has, however, declared a state of emergency.
World leaders including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have expressed their condolences.
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