Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was shot dead by unidentified assailants at his official residence during the night in an “inhuman and barbaric act,” Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said on Wednesday (7). Moise’s wife was injured and was receiving medical treatment.
The attack came amid a growing wave of violence linked to the country’s political crisis. With Haiti deeply polarized and facing a growing humanitarian crisis and food shortage, there are fears of widespread disorder.
“All measures are taken to ensure the continuity of the state and protect the nation,” Joseph said in a statement.
Shots were heard in the capital. Port-au-Prince had seen an upsurge in violence as gangs fought between themselves and the police for control of the streets.
This violence has been fueled by increased poverty and political instability. Moses had faced protests since assuming the presidency in 2017, with the opposition accusing him of becoming authoritarian and of trying to install a dictatorship by extending his term – allegations he denied.