Gunmen attempted an attack on Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, over the weekend. He said so in a statement. The assassination attempt comes six months after the country’s president was killed by hitmen.
Henry came under fire on Saturday when he walked out of a church in the northern town of Gonaïves after celebrating Haiti’s independence from France. His guards returned fire.
According to local media, one person was killed in the shooting and two others were injured. The prime minister is said to have been warned in advance by a gang not to show up in Gonaïves. “We will not tolerate this,” Henry said. He spoke of ‘bandits and terrorists’. Arrest warrants have been issued.
In a tweet, Henry wrote: “Today our enemies, the enemies of the Haitian people, the terrorists who do not hesitate to use force to kill, or kidnap, deprive people of their liberty, rape . Do anything for money.’
Since Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was shot dead in an attack on his home in July 2021, the country, already struggling with corruption and the aftermath of earthquakes, has plunged into even greater chaos. Gangs often rule in cities and neighbourhoods. They try to make money with kidnappings.
Moïse is said to have canceled a visit to Gonaïves in 2020 because he was also threatened with violence and insurrection.
Spicy detail: Prime Minister Henry fired a prosecutor in September in the investigation into the assassination of the president. The prosecutor wanted to invite Henry to provide answers about his alleged relationship with the prime suspect behind the murder, Joseph Felix Badio. On the day of the murder, Henry is said to have had two telephone conversations with Badio, who worked in an anti-corruption unit at the Justice Department. Badio was near the presidential residence at the time of those talks, location data shows. Henry admitted to knowing the suspect, but said he didn’t believe Badio was guilty. Badio is now on the run.
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