State of emergency declared in Haiti as President assassinated at home

The 42nd president of Haiti Jovenel Moise was shot dead after a group of assailants opened fire at his residence in the states’ capital, acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph announced Wednesday (today).

Interim PM, who called the incident “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act”, confirmed the death of Moise and added that his wife got also injured in the attack which took at 01:00 local time. He also revealed that the attackers were “outsiders who spoke English and Spanish”.

Joseph besides announcing the death of the premier also declared a state of emergency nationwide. National Police and the Armed Forces of Haiti took control of the state following the unusual incident.

Reports in International media quoting sources suggest that the assailants all donned in black stormed the place of Moise with modern weapons. They most likely pretended to be part of a US drug enforcement operation, but as for now its assumptions as no official details have been surfaced.

Meanwhile, First Lady Martine Moïse was also shot in the deadly attack and was rushed to a medical facility, while her condition is uncertain at the moment.

A local newspaper Haiti Libre reported that the national flight operation at Port-au-Prince-Toussaint Louverture International Airport has been shut down following the Moïse’s assassination, and all arriving flights are being sent back.

The Caribbean state was in a state of instability ahead of planned general elections later this year. The 53-year-old deceased president had been ruling for more than a year, by decree, as the opposition attempted to oust him in recent months, saying he was leading the state to authoritarianism.

The situation in the poorest country in the Americas got worst in recent times, also there have been a lot of warnings coming from observers on the ground that the situation has gotten extremely deteriorating as economic, political, and social woes have deepened recently, besides gang violence, inflation and food, and fuel scarcity as more than half of the population makes only less than $2 a day.

The assassinated head of state faced a number of protests since he took charge in 2017. In addition to presidential, legislative, and local elections, the state was due to have a constitutional referendum in September after it was postponed more than once due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Soon after the dreadful incident, the United States said it was assessing the “tragic attack” in Haiti. White House press secretary Jen Psaki while speaking with a news outlet said “We’re still gathering information. We’re still assessing right now, and President Biden will be briefed on the situation shortly”.

Meanwhile, US President termed the incident as shocking saying a lot more information is needed on the incident. We are shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination of President Jovenel Moise and the attack on First Lady Martine Moise”, he said in a statement.

France condemned the incident and called it the “cowardly assassination” of Haiti’s president, the French authorities also urged restraint and calm in the Caribbean nation in the wake of his killing.

UN Chief Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack, his spokesman said in a statement.“The secretary-general calls on all Haitians to preserve the constitutional order, remain united in the face of this abhorrent act, and reject all violence. The United Nations will continue to stand with the government and the people of Haiti”, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday.

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