The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was shot and killed in an attack on his home in Port-au-Prince last night, the country’s interim prime minister said.
First Lady Martine Moïse sustained a gunshot wound in the attack and has been taken to hospital, a statement issued by Prime Minister Clause Joseph said, as he condemned the “heinous, inhumane and barbaric act.”
The statement said that unidentified armed men – some of whom spoke Spanish – stormed Moïse’s official residence at around 1AM local time (6AM UK time).
Joseph’s statement called on the population for calm and said the security situation in the country was under the control of the national police and the Haitian armed forces.
World leaders have shared their shock and condolences. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said: “This heinous act is a stain on Haiti and a sorrowful time for the region. May God be a special covering over his family and over the people of Haiti during this dark time in the nation’s history.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am shocked and saddened at the death of President Moïse. Our condolences are with his family and the people of Haiti. This is an abhorrent act and I call for calm at this time.”
Moïse, 53, had been in office since 2017, serving as the 42nd President of Haiti. His time in office was marked by widespread protests and political unrest.
The opposition had claimed Moïse should have stepped down in February this year, marking five years since his predecessor stepped down. But Moïse argued his five-year term should end in 2022.