Haiti’s president Jovenel Moise has been shot dead in his home last night, according to a statement from prime minister Claude Joseph.
“At around 1am . . . a group of unidentified individuals, some of whom were speaking Spanish, have attacked the president of the republic’s private residence and mortally wounded the head of state,” the statement said. First lady Martine Moise was receiving treatment for gunshot wounds, it added.
Joseph appealed for calm, saying that the police and armed forces had the security situation under control and condemning what he called an “odious, inhuman and barbaric act”.
Moise, 53, had ruled the Caribbean nation of 11m people since 2017 but faced increasing street protests over accusations of corruption and a bitter dispute with the opposition about whether his presidential term had expired.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, has suffered repeated political and economic crises in recent years, as well as natural disasters.