HAITI’S president Jovenel Moise has been assassinated.
Moise was killed at his private residence by a group of armed men who also seriously injured his wife Martine early this morning, Wednesday, 7 July.
According to interim prime minister Claude Joseph’s office, Moise was killed at about 1am.
The Guardian reports the prime minister confirmed the killing of Moise on a local radio station. He said the attack had been carried out by an armed commando group that included foreign elements.
“During the night of Tuesday 6th to Wednesday 7th of July, a group of unidentified individuals, including some speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president and fatally injured the head of state,” Joseph said.
He condemned the act.
Joseph also reassured Haitians, saying the security situation in the country remained calm. He said Moise’s wife had been seriously injured in the attack.
An official speaking anonymously to Associated Press also confirmed Moise’s death.
The assassination could plunge the impoverished Caribbean nation into further turmoil after several years marked by political unrest and violence.
Moise’s time in office had been marked by an increase in political instability, allegations of corruption, and a long-running dispute about when his period in office should end.
There have been erratic periods of protests and street violence and a rise in gang violence, some of it tied to the country’s political parties.
At the centre of the crisis has been the question of when Moise’s presidential term was due to end and whether he was governing unconstitutionally.