Haiti: 4 mercenaries killed in assassination of president, outgoing PM takes control of country

Who killed Haitian President Moise? According to police, four “mercenaries” were killed and two others were arrested after the incident. But who were the employers who paid for the murder?

Haitian police said Wednesday night that they hunted down suspected commandoes on an assassination mission immediately after the attack on the president, and are still “fighting these attackers.

“We have been fighting them since last night,” Leon Charles, director of the Haitian National Police, said in a televised address.

“Four mercenaries were killed and two were intercepted under our control,” he added. Three police officers who were taken hostage were recovered.

No further information about the assassins was released. After yesterday’s crime, the assault team were foreigners speaking English and Spanish, according to Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph.

The Dominican Republic had urgently closed its border with Haiti yesterday. The country happens to speak Spanish and English and has consistently had poor relations with Haiti. There are about 500,000 Haitians living in the country. The Dominican president has promised to build a 380-kilometer border wall.

Interim Prime Minister Takes Power

Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph seems to be in control of the country for the time being. Earlier, in a speech in Creole, he announced that he had decided to “declare a state of siege throughout the country,” granting stronger powers to the executive branch for two weeks.

However, according to Marie Normand, RFI’s international correspondent, Claude Joseph is in power with little legitimacy. He actually left his post as the 6th prime minister in 4 years and congratulated his successor appointed by President Moise this Monday (July 5). However, the latter failed to finally take office before Moise’s death.”

Haiti has experienced a long period of social and political instability. In 2016, Jovenel Moïse, a businessman from the business community, was elected president and took office in 2017, but with a turnout of only 20 percent.

President Moïse, 53, was assassinated in his apartment just after 1 a.m. yesterday, July 7, and his wife was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The president’s assassination has shocked the nation and the international community, and it is widely believed that the incident could further destabilize Haiti, already the poorest country in the Americas, which is very fragile.

The UN Security Council is holding an emergency meeting today, July 8, on the situation in Haiti. UN Secretary-General Guterres issued a statement strongly condemning the assassination of Moise.