Haiti in ”Shock”

Haitian President Jovenel Moise has been assassinated. He was killed at his home in Port au Prince. Four suspected killers of President Jovenel Moïse have been fatally shot by police and two others arrested in an apparent hostage-taking situation. Three police officers held hostage were freed.

Jovenel Moïse, Haiti’s embattled president who thrust the country into deeper political turmoil during his tumultuous one term in office, was assassinated overnight at his private residence, according to the country’s acting prime minister. Prime Minister Claude Joseph said a group of people attacked the president’s private residence and killed him, calling it an “odious, barbaric” act. “Haiti has lost a true statesman who was committed to progressing our country’s democratic transition and fighting corruption,” Joseph said. First lady Martine Moïse was hospitalized for gunshot wounds she received in the attack. Unidentified gunmen broke into the president’s residence on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince during the night and opened fire on the couple. Moïse has ruled by fiat for the past two years after Haiti failed to hold elections and the parliament dissolved. Meanwhile, a new prime minister, Dr. Ariel Henry, was scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday.

Opposition figures said Moïse should have stepped down on February 7 of this year to complete a five-year term, and after Moïse refused to leave office thousands of Haitians protested in the streets. The government responded by arresting 23 people, including a senior judge and police official, whom Moïse accused of conspiring to assassinate him.