The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, has been assassinated in his room by a group of armed men. The assailants also seriously injured the wife of the president, who was shifted to Miami hospital.
The attack was carried out during the night of 6th to 7th July 2021.
Claude Joseph, interim Prime Minister of Haiti, speaking on a local radio station, confirmed the death of President Jovenel Moïse. The attack was carried out by an “armed commando group” that included foreigners, said Joseph.
On Wednesday, Claude Joseph declared a state of emergency across the country and made a call for calm.
The attack happened 24 hours after Jovenel Moïse had named a new Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, to take charge as head of the government and prepare the country for presidential elections.
According to the Haitian ambassador to Washington, Bocchit Edmond, Moïse’s killers claimed to be members of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as they entered his guarded residence.
“This was a well-orchestrated commando attack,” Edmond told the Guardian. “They presented themselves as DEA agents, telling people they had come as part of a DEA operation.”
Edmond, in his statement, said this is an attack on our democracy. He further said that they communicated the incident to the White House on Wednesday morning for help from the US in identifying and capturing the killers.
In his written statement, Joe Biden said, “We condemn this heinous act, and I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moïse’s recovery. The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.”
Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, said: “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.”
The period of Moïse as President was marked by an increase in political instability, allegations of corruption, and a long-running dispute about when his period in office should end. He had been ruling by decree for more than a year after the country failed to hold legislative elections.
The Haiti police, in a gun battle, arrested two and killed four suspected assassinators. Léon Charles also said that three police officers who had been held hostage were freed.