President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse has been shot and killed after a group of unidentified people attacked his private residence late Tuesday, according to interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph.
Moïse’s wife, First Lady Martine Moïse, is hospitalized, Joseph said in a statement.
Since January 13, 2020, Moïse has, despite protests and corruption claims, been ruling by decree, after the country failed to hold legislative elections for both lower and upper houses of the bicameral legislature in October of 2019.
Joseph said he was now in charge of the country. He condemned the “inhumane and barbaric act”, adding that the police and the Caribbean country’s armed forces had taken control of the security situation.
In what is now the African diaspora’s oldest country, Haiti has been in political crisis, with protesters demanding new democratic elections and the resignation of Moïse following years of corruption allegations. For about half a century, the Caribbean nation has struggled to overcome the problems of poverty and inequality.
It is a country that has also seen the worst brutal dictatorships in the hands of the Duvalier family. The country has also suffered both natural and Western-ensured tragedies. Today, Haiti is one of the world’s poorest with one of four people unable to afford $1.25 a day.