Haitian Prime Minister calls on Haitians to help find killers, calls for unity Conflict news

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Haitian Prime Minister Claude Joseph on Thursday called on citizens to hand over police the alleged assassins of President Jovenel Moise and not lynch them amid a state of siege across the country.

Hundreds of residents shouted in front of a police station in the capital of Port-al-Prince where there were suspicious detainees, shouting “burn them” and set fire to a vehicle they presumed to be that of the killers.

Haitian police were arrested and shot four of the men suspected of assassinating President Jovenel Moise and are searching for the brains behind the operation, the Haitian police chief said on Thursday in a television statement.

It was believed that at least two suspects were at large.

Police Director-General Leon Charles described the killers as “mercenaries” and said security forces had entered into a fierce battle with the suspected killers that lasted late into the night and that six suspects were arrested, while three bodies were recovered. Police have been patrolling the area intensely since early Thursday.

“We have the physical authors, we are now looking for the intellectual authors,” Charles said.

Identities and details about the gunmen still appeared. One of the men arrested is a Haitian-American citizen named James Solages, Haiti’s election minister told the Associated Press. The U.S. State Department was unable to confirm whether an American citizen was among those arrested.

President Moise, 53, had it murder in his home in the early hours of the morning of July 7 apparently a group of highly trained assassins, opening a political vacuum just as Moise and other civilian leaders were preparing for elections and discussing revisions to Haiti’s constitution.

Moise, elected in 2016 with less than 600,000 votes out of a potential of 6.1 million, was sworn in as president in 2017. Opposition parties had said Moise’s term should have ended in February, five years later. that his predecessor had ceased, and said he was trying to hold on to power by decree. Moise had maintained his extended term until 2022.

An eleven million nation, Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas with 4 million people living hungry, widespread gang violence and armed groups that control large areas of the country, including many neighborhoods in the Haitian capital. It faces an epidemic of COVID and has been inundated with political instability.

Moise on July 5 appointed a replacement prime minister for Joseph, Ariel Henry, who had been forming a new government at the time of the assassination. Henry had not been sworn in and challenged Joseph’s legitimacy.

According to the Haitian constitution, Moise should be replaced by the president of the Haitian Supreme Court, but the chief judge died in recent days due to COVID-19, leaving open the question of who could succeed in the office.

On July 8, 2021, the bodies of two people shot by police inside a car are seen as people look through the windows in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. [Estailove St-Val/Reuters]

The UN special envoy to Haiti said on Thursday that Prime Minister Joseph would remain the leader of the Caribbean nation until elections are held, while urging all parties to put aside their differences after the assassination. of President Jovenel Moise.

“Stakeholders must put aside their differences and chart a common path to move forward and overcome this difficult time peacefully,” UN envoy Haiti Helen La Lime said in a virtual briefing from of New York.

Joseph assured La Lime that the election was well under way to be held on September 26 with a second round in November this year, he said.

Lime said to Security Council debate Thursday focused on a request from Haiti for additional security assistance.

A UN peacekeeping mission begun in 2004, after a rebellion toppled then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ended 2019 with the country still in disarray.

Prime Minister Joseph is moving to “ensure the continuity of the state” amid a “political vacuum” following the assassination of Moses, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, told the newspaper on Thursday. MSNBC.

Edmond said Haiti is asking the U.S. to help with the investigation and help provide security. The U.S. State Department said it was responding to a request for research assistance.

Haitian First Lady Martine Moise was injured in the attack and was airlifted to a U.S. hospital in Florida for medical attention.

Haiti’s land border with neighboring Dominican Republic and Port-au-Prince airport remained closed Thursday amid a state of emergency at the national level declared by Joseph.

Public transportation and street vendors were scarce, unusual for the streets of Port-au-Prince, which were usually crowded.

Marco Destin, 39, was walking to see his family as there were no buses, known as tap-taps, available. He brought a loaf of bread for them because they had not left home since he killed the president for fear of their lives.

“Everyone at home sleeps with one eye open and one eye closed,” he said. “If the head of state is not protected, I have no protection whatsoever.”

Destin said Haiti has always been a complicated country and he was not sure what they would bring in the coming days. “Haiti doesn’t know where it’s going now,” he said. “To be honest, I don’t know what the solution is. He has always fought for power.





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