Gunmen have assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moise and wounded his wife Martine Moise at their home, inflicting more chaos on the unstable Caribbean country that was already enduring an escalation of gang violence, anti-government protests and a recent surge in coronavirus infections.
Claude Joseph, the interim prime minister, confirmed the killing on Wednesday and said the police and military were in control of security in Haiti, where a history of dictatorship and political upheaval have long stymied the consolidation of democratic rule.
Joseph declared emergency and said he was now in charge of the country.
“In strict application of article 149 of the constitution, I have just chaired an extraordinary council of ministers meeting and we have decided to declare a state of siege throughout the country,” Joseph said.
“The president was assassinated at his home by foreigners who spoke English and Spanish,” he said.
Joseph condemned what he called a “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act,” adding that Haiti’s National Police and other authorities had the situation in the Caribbean country under control.
Joseph also called on the “international community to launch an investigation into the assassination and for the United Nations to hold a Security Council meeting”.
Former president Michel Martelly, whom Moise succeeded, said he was praying for first lady, calling the assassination “a hard blow for our country and for Haitian democracy, which is struggling to find its way.”
Spike in violence, growing instability
The killing late early on Wednesday comes amid deepening political and economic stability and a spike in gang violence.
The nation of more than 11 million people had grown increasingly unstable and disgruntled under Moise’s rule.
Its economic, political and social woes have deepened, with gang violence spiking heavily in the capital of Port-au-Prince, inflation spiraling and food and fuel becoming scarcer at times in a country where 60 percent of the population makes less than $2 a day.
These troubles come as Haiti still tries to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew that struck in 2016.
Culled from www.trtworld.com
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