Haiti has declared a state of emergency after the assassination of its president Jovenel Moïse, who was shot dead and his wife injured in an attack on their home in the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Calling for calm interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said unidentified gunmen stormed the property. He said, the police and military were in control of security in Haiti.
Mr Joseph said the attackers were foreigners who spoke English and Spanish. He called for an international investigation into the assassination.
He said that elections scheduled for later this year should be held and pledged to work with Moïse’s allies and opponents alike.
First Lady Martine Moïse later reportedly arrived by plane in Fort Lauderdale, south Florida, US for treatment. There is no official word on her condition.
Mr Moïse had led the Caribbean country, one of the poorest nations in the world, since 2017 but had faced widespread protests demanding his resignation.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the assassination in the strongest terms and stressed that the perpetrators of this crime must be brought to justice. The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency closed meeting on Haiti today.
US President Joe Biden said he is shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination, and condemned this heinous act.
Governments in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere also expressed their concern at Haiti’s plight.