Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has been assassinated in an attack on his home, consistent with a press release from the country’s interim prime minister, who called the killing a “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act”. A group of unidentified individuals attacked Moïse’s private residence overnight on Wednesday and shot him dead, interim Premier Claude Joseph said. First Lady Martine Moïse was shot within the attack and was hospitalized, Joseph said. Her condition wasn’t immediately clear.
“The country’s security situation is under the control of the National Police of Haiti and therefore the soldiers of Haiti,” Joseph said during a statement from his office. “Democracy and therefore the republic will win.” Haiti, the poorest country within the Americas, was already during a precarious political situation before the assassination, having grown increasingly unstable and disgruntled under Moïse.
Moïse, who was 53, ruled by decree for quite two years after the country did not hold elections, and therefore the opposition demanded his resignation in recent months. within the early hours of Wednesday, the streets were largely empty within the Caribbean nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince, but some people ransacked businesses in one area. After the attack, gunshots might be heard throughout the capital.
Joseph said police are deployed to the National Palace and therefore the upscale community of Pétionville and can be sent to other areas. He said a number of the attackers spoke in Spanish but offered no further explanation. The Dominican Republic said it had been closing the border it shares with Haiti on the island of Hispaniola.