Moïse was assassinated and his wife wounded in an attack at their home by unidentified gunmen, interim PM says.
Haiti President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated and his wife wounded in an attack at their home, the interim prime minister announced.
A group of unidentified gunmen attacked Moïse’s private residence overnight on Wednesday and shot him dead, interim Premier Claude Joseph said.
Joseph said he was now in charge of the country and urged the public to remain calm while insisting the police and army would ensure people’s security.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, was already in a precarious political situation before the assassination, having grown increasingly unstable and disgruntled under Moïse.
Moïse, who was 53, ruled by decree for more than two years after the country failed to hold elections and the opposition demanded his resignation in recent months.
The assassination risks further destabilising the Caribbean nation.
Here are the latest updates:
Dominican Republic closes Haiti border after assassination
The government of the neighbouring Dominican Republic has ordered the “immediate closure” of its border with Haiti after the assassination of Moïse.
The border closure was effective immediately, the communications officer of the defence ministry, Ceinett Sanchez, told the AFP news agency.
Colombia urges OAS to send mission to Haiti
Colombian President Ivan Duque called on the Organization of American States to send an urgent mission to Haiti to “protect the democratic order” after President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated overnight.
“We reject the vile assassination of the Haitian President Jovenel Moïse,” Duque wrote on Twitter. “It is a cowardly act full of barbarity against the entire Haitian people.”
US condemns ‘horrific’ killing
The United States condemned the killing as “horrific” and said it was ready to assist in any investigation.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said “we will be helpful in any way to the people of Haiti, to the government of Haiti”, adding that President Joe Biden would be briefed on the incident shortly.