Gunmen assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and wounded his wife in their home early Wednesday, inflicting more chaos on the unstable Caribbean country that was already enduring an escalation of gang violence, anti-government protests and a recent surge in COVID-19 infections.
Claude Joseph, the interim prime minister, confirmed the killing and said in televised remarks that the government had declared a state of emergency amid confusion over who would take over the reins of the country.
Leaders worldwide condemned the attack and appealed for calm. World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was "shocked" by the news, while U.S. President Joe Biden called the current state of Haiti “very worrisome.”
The bloodshed in Haiti has been driven by worsening poverty and political unrest. Moise faced fierce protests since he took office as president in 2017, with the opposition accusing him this year of seeking to install a dictatorship by overstaying his mandate and becoming more authoritarian— charges he denied.
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