Jovenel Moise, who was ruling Haiti by decree as its President was assassinated and his wife wounded in an attack on their official residence at around 1:00 am (0500 GMT) in the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. The first lady has been hospitalised following the attack.
Interim PM of Haiti Claude Joseph informed the media about the assassination which was carried out by unidentified gunmen. Calling the shooting of the president a ‘heinous, inhuman and barbaric act,’ Joseph said that the attackers spoke ‘English and Spanish’. He further added that the situation in the impoverished Caribbean nation was under control, adding: ‘Democracy and the republic will win,’ BBC reported.
53 years old Moise had been in power since February 2017 amidst widespread discontent towards his regime. Earlier this year there were public protests in the capital and other cities against the President accusing his regime of corruption and questioning the legality of his continuation as the country’s head.
One of the poorest countries in the Americas, Haiti remains politically volatile with dictatorships and natural disasters and is affected by gang violence all throughout the nation. Last few months the country saw increased kidnappings and violence.
Parliamentary elections in the country were supposed to take place but Moise continued to rule by decree citing confusion over when he was handed over the power when he got elected in the last elections.
Following the assassination, the neighbouring Dominican Republic ordered the “immediate closure” of its border with Haiti.
The United States has condemned the killing and called it “horrific” and said it was ready to assist in any investigation. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said ‘we will be helpful in any way to the people of Haiti, to the government of Haiti,’ adding that President Joe Biden would be briefed on the incident shortly, NDTV reported.
Boris Johnson the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom took to Twitter to express his condolences.
I am shocked and saddened at the death of President Moïse. Our condolences are with his family and the people of Haiti. This is an abhorrent act and I call for calm at this time.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 7, 2021