Haiti Declares State of Siege After President Is Assassinated


Haiti is under a state of siege, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph announced during a national address on state television Wednesday morning.  


The announcement came hours after President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by a group of unknown gunmen at his private residence in Pelerin, a wealthy suburb of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Prime Minister Joseph said he is in charge of the country and has imposed martial law, as Haiti’s borders and its main airport closed.  

President Joe Biden walks towards members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, July 7, 2021, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md, and then on to Illinois.

U.S. President Joe Biden condemned the attack and expressed condolences in a statement issued by the White House.  


“We condemn this heinous act, and I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moïse’s recovery. The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti,” the statement said.  


Biden called the attack “worrisome,” adding that “we need a lot more information” while responding to a reporter’s question before boarding Marine One enroute to Joint Base Andrews Wednesday morning.  

Presidential guards patrol the entrance to the residence of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 7, 2021.

Assassination details 


The Haitian prime minister described the attack, which occurred about 1 a.m., as “highly coordinated” by a “highly trained and heavily armed group” whose members spoke in English and Spanish.  

Moïse’s wife, Martine, was injured and taken to a hospital for treatment, Joseph said. One of the president’s children, who was at home during the attack has been taken to a secure location. 

Joseph said the national police force is in control of the situation now and has taken measures to ensure the continuity of government, as well as to secure the nation. 

Joseph urged the international community to investigate the murder. 

“We also call on the international community to launch an investigation into the assassination and for the United Nations to hold a Security Council meeting on Haiti as soon as possible,” he said in a statement emailed to VOA.  


Joseph vowed to bring those responsible to justice.    

FILE – Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

US lawmaker reaction  


On Capitol Hill, House Foreign Affairs Committee lead, Texas Republican Michael McCaul, released a statement condemning the killing and calling for a probe. 


“I strongly condemn the assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse and hope his wife who was injured in the attack recovers quickly. There must be a full investigation and appropriate accountability for his murder.

My condolences to the Moïse family and people of Haiti.”   


United Nations reaction 


United Nations Security Council president, French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere, said the council was deeply shocked by the assassination.

The council will meet privately Thursday morning to discuss developments. 

“This is a critical moment. I think we all knew it was sensitive and difficult on the ground in Haiti,” Ireland’s ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason told reporters. She said the council would discuss how it could support the people of Haiti.

“I think this is a dark hour for them, and we certainly want to be sure we can express our support for the people of Haiti,” she said.

The United Nations has about 1,200 staff in Haiti as part of its political mission there. 

 Recent uptick in violence  


Haiti has been experiencing political instability and division, as well as a rise in gang violence.   


Last week in Port-au-Prince, gang leader Jimmy Cherisier, who is known by the nickname Barbeque, took to the streets to protest Moise’s government, calling on him to resign.   


“Jovenel [Moise] must go!” Cherisier told reporters during the protest. “A new group of people needs to lead this country, and we must sit together around a table, have a national dialogue so we can redefine this country.” 


Seeking to reassure the nation, the prime minister had appealed for calm.  


“Stay calm, the nation is secure, let’s look for harmony,” he said.

[VOA News]

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  1. The Haitian people are going to have to put a stop to these thugs and crush the gangs. Arrest them all.

  2. When leaders don’t look after their people and only in it for personal financial gain.

    All those involved with Nigel Christian’s abduction, kidnapping and execution style murder must be brought to justice. He found out the real truth about the “forged” signatures at the Port. People in high positions are involved, their hands are dirty and all must be brought to justice. Nigel Christian’s family deserves to see justice done.

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