Church leaders fearful after Haitian president assassinated

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Church leaders in Haiti have issued a call to prayer for the country, after the country’s president was assassinated last night by gunmen. President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in an attack on his private residence in the early hours of 7 July 2021, according to a statement released by interim Premier Claude Joseph.  

First Lady Martine Moïse was shot in the overnight attack, Mr. Joseph said, in what he described was a “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act.”

“The country’s security situation is under the control of the National Police of Haiti and the Armed Forces of Haiti,” Mr. Joseph said in a statement from his office. “Democracy and the republic will win.” 

In his statement and in a radio broadcast this morning he said some of the gunmen spoke Spanish and English, but offered no further details.

Missionaries in Haiti and Haitian sources in the country tell Anglican.Ink that police have been deployed in the affluent community of Pétionville. The Port-au-Prince airport has been closed as has the border with the Dominican Republic, as well as the American Embassy. In the western city of Jacmel, tires are burning in the streets and shots can be heard, while the capital remains mostly calm with some looting in the commercial district.

The political situation in Haiti has been tense for some time, as President Moïse has postponed scheduled elections and ruled by decree for the past two years. 

Sources in Haiti tell AI they fear the killing will further destabilize the poverty stricken country, causing further economic chaos and hunger.