In Haiti, a presidential funeral under high tension

The Haitians paid Friday, July 23 a last tribute under high security to their assassinated president Jovenel Moïse, during a national funeral in a city where violence broke out, illustrating the instability of the country. The solemn ceremony took place in Cap-Haitien, the northern metropolis of Haiti. Jovenel Moïse, killed by an armed commando on July 7 at his home in the capital Port-au-Prince, was from the north of the country.

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Police officers had been deployed all over the streets but they did not prevent, like the day before, an outburst of aggression. Gunshots even resounded outside the compound where the funeral was taking place, forcing the hasty departure of some participants in clouds of tear gas launched by the police.

Buried in the gardens of the family residence

Jovenel Moïse’s coffin, covered with the national flag and the presidential scarf, was exposed on an esplanade, adorned with flowers. A battalion paid military honors to the head of state, assassinated at the age of 53. The religious office was carried out by five priests. The ceremony completed, the body of Jovenel Moïse was buried in a small group in the privacy of the gardens of the family residence.

American delegation

Representatives of foreign delegations, the diplomatic corps and members of the government had followed one another to offer him their condolences. “ The people of Haiti deserve peace, security and a better future ”, Estimated Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ambassador of the United States to the UN, who attended the ceremony alongside Daniel Foote, the new American envoy for Haiti. They didn’t last forever.

Martine Moïse, the president’s widow, seriously injured in the attack, was present, her arm in a sling after being treated in a hospital in Florida. Her face crossed out with a mask bearing a photo of her husband, she bowed to her coffin. The president’s widow paid tribute to her husband, to the successful entrepreneurial career before entering politics, and lamented his tragic end, ” savagely murdered », « abandoned and betrayed ».

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« What crime have you committed to deserve such punishment? Asked the grieving wife, wearing a black hat. ” He knew well the vices of this rotten and unfair system “Said Ms. Moïse,” this system which shortly before him wanted to tackle “. Praises that contrast with the strong mistrust aroused by Jovenel Moïse before his death. A good part of the population accused him of inaction in the face of the crisis and of authoritarian drift after he suspended parliament.

Haiti plunged into uncertainty

Still, the assassination of the president has further plunged the country into uncertainty and resurfaced historical tensions within the population. Present in Cap-Haitien, the director general of the national police, Léon Charles, was notably taken to task Thursday, July 22 by residents who accused him of having failed to protect President Moïse, the child of the country.

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The inhabitants of northern Haiti recall that Jovenel Moïse is the fifth head of state from their region to have been killed in the West, where the capital, Port-au-Prince is located. Some accuse the wealthy class of Western Haitians of having carried out these assassinations. This resentment has put Cap-Haitien in turmoil, with roads blocked by barricades, vehicles set on fire and businesses set on fire on July 23. The day before, residents had already erected barricades on the national roads leading to the city in order to prevent the inhabitants of Port-au-Prince from coming to attend the funeral.

The promise of presidential and legislative elections

Ariel Henry, the new prime minister who took office on Tuesday, has promised to bring the assassins of the head of state to justice and to organize presidential and legislative elections demanded by the population and the international community.

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