World condemns Haitian leader's killing

·2-min read

The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise has drawn shock and condemnation from leaders around the world, along with calls for calm and unity in Haiti.

Moise was killed in an attack on his private residence early Wednesday, according to Haiti's interim prime minister. First lady Martine Moise was shot in the attack and is hospitalised. It was not immediately clear who was behind the assassination in the troubled Caribbean nation, which has grown increasingly unstable in recent years.

"We are shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination of President Jovenel Moise and the attack on first lady Martine Moise of Haiti. We condemn this heinous act," US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

"The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the assassination "in the strongest terms" and stressed that "the perpetrators of this crime must be brought to justice", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"The secretary-general calls on all Haitians to preserve the constitutional order, remain united in the face of this abhorrent act and reject all violence," Dujarric said.

"The United Nations will continue to stand with the government and the people of Haiti."

Colombian President Ivan Duque described the assassination as a "cowardly act" and also expressed solidarity with Haiti. He called for an urgent mission by the Organisation of American States "to protect democratic order".

Leaders across the world voiced fears that the assassination could lead to more turmoil.

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, warned in a tweet that "this crime carries a risk of instability and (a) spiral of violence."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for calm, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez condemned the assassination.

"I'd like to make an appeal for political unity to get out of this terrible trauma that the country is going through," Sanchez said during a visit to Latvia.

France's Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he was stunned by "this despicable assassination" and urged those involved in Haiti's political life to "show calm and restraint".

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen offered her condolences via Twitter.

"We wish the first lady a prompt recovery, & stand together with our ally Haiti in this difficult time," Tsai wrote. Haiti is one of only a handful of countries that maintains formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

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