Port au Prince (Haiti). Haiti’s President Jovenel Moises was killed by a group of unidentified people late Tuesday night at his private residence. The interim Prime Minister of the country gave this information in a statement on Wednesday. Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said Moise’s wife and First Lady Martini Moise had been shot in the attack and was hospitalized.
Joseph condemned the “disgusting, inhuman and brutal act” and said Haiti’s National Police and other authorities were maintaining control over the situation in the Caribbean country. “Democracy and the republic will win,” he said. The killing took place late Tuesday night amid a crisis of deepening political and economic stability in the country and increasing gang violence. Under Moise’s rule, there was constant instability and anger in a country with a population of more than 11 million.
Economic, political and social problems have increased in the country. Gang violence continues to rise in the capital, Port au Prince, with inflation unabated and food and fuel running short at a time when 60 percent of the country’s population earns less than $2 a day. These problems are coming to the fore in the country at a time when Haiti is still trying to recover from the effects of the devastating earthquake of 2010 and Hurricane ‘Matthew’ in 2016.
Moise (53) was ruling the country on the basis of court orders for more than two years due to the lack of elections and the dissolution of parliament. Opposition leaders accused him of increasing his power, including limiting the power of courts to audit government contracts and creating an intelligence agency that was answerable only to the president.
Opposition leaders had demanded his resignation in recent months. He said that Moise’s term legally ended in February 2021. Streets remained largely deserted in Port-au-Prince early Wednesday, but some people vandalized business establishments in one area. Joseph said police have been deployed at the President’s residence ‘National Palace’ and Pationville and will be sent to other areas as well.
Joseph said in a statement that some of the attackers were speaking in Spanish, but did not provide any further information. He later said in a radio address that the attackers were speaking Spanish or English, but gave no further details. The White House described the attack as “horrific” and “tragic” and said it was still gathering information on how the attack took place. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during an interview that her national security team would give US President Joe Biden a detailed account of the incident later on Wednesday.