Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise was killed during an attack on his private residence early on Wednesday.
According to the country’s acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, a group of individuals attacked the president’s home at around 1AM and fatally wounding the president. Haiti’s first lady was also shot and is receiving treatment.
The Prime Minister called the incident a “heinous, inhumane and barbaric act” and called for calm.
“The security situation in the country is under the control of the Haitian National Police and the Haitian Armed Forces. All measures are being taken to guarantee the continuity of the State and to protect the Nation.”
The former banana exporter spent most of the past year waging a political war with the opposition over the terms of his presidency.
Moise said his five-year term should end in 2022. The U.S., United Nations and Organization of American States agreed. The opposition argued he should have stepped down on February 7 this year, citing a constitutional provision that starts the clock on the term once a president is elected, rather than when he takes office.
Jovenel Moise was 53 years old.
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In a statement in French, Claude Joseph said a “group of non-identified individuals, some of whom spoke Spanish, attacked the private residence of the President of the Republic.”