Moïse was shot in the Presidential residence early Wednesday morning by unidentified gunmen.
By Maryam Razzaq
With the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse, the acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph has closed the Port au Prince International Airport and announced a two-week state of emergency.
Moïse was assassinated in his own home in the hills above Port-au-Prince by unidentified gunmen at around 1 a.m. The first lady of Haiti, Martine Moïse, survived the assassination attempt on her life but sustained non-life threaten injuries. Mrs Moise is currently being treated for those injuries in a southern Florida hospital.
The assassination of Moïse was organized by an apparently coordinated commando group with the help of foreign weapons and assistance. It has also been noted by Haitian officials that the gunmen spoke English and Spanish and looked like foreigners. The gunmen entered the President’s residence by falsely stating that they were from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). A source from the United States government has denied the involvement of the DEA in the assassination.
Most Haitians wanted Moïse to resign as President due to the many allegations of corruption and mismanagement of Haiti’s economy. Moise’s assassination comes months after seeing a steady surge in COVID-19 cases, gang violence and anti-government protests. It is believed that Moïse clung to power even as many legal experts and constitutional scholars argued that his term in leading Haiti had expired. Moise has his supporters that defended his position and agreed that his presidency would not expire until next year.
Late Wednesday evening, four individuals suspected of their involvement in the assassination of President Moïse were killed by police and, two other individuals were arrested.
Haitians have anxiously been awaiting more news surrounding the motives behind the assassination of their President and what the assassination will mean for the country and its people.
The acting Prime Minister of Haiti Claude Joseph is now in charge of the country but was scheduled to be replaced by a new prime minister this week. It is unclear how much authority and control Mr Joseph has and how long he will be the interim head of state.
“Let’s search for harmony to advance together, so the country doesn’t fall into chaos,” Joseph said.
The mood in Haiti is sombre while the streets are quiet but can quickly turn volatile the longer Haitians remain in the dark about the assassination of their President.