Update: Acting Haitian Prime Minister Declares “State of Siege” Following President’s Assassination

Haiti’s Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph has declared a “state of siege” in Haiti in a message to the nation, saying he did not want the nation to “plunge into chaos” following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise on Wednesday. 

Joseph said the decision to declare a “state of siege” was made at an extraordinary council of ministers meeting Wednesday morning.  

Under Haitian law, there are three levels of emergency, starting with a “state of emergency,” followed by a “state of siege”, and finally the highest level of emergency, which is a “state of war.” 

A state of siege means that all borders are closed as well as martial law temporarily imposed, with Haiti’s military and the Haiti National Police (HNP) empowered to enforce the law.   

Joseph in the on-camera statement appealed to citizens to stay calm. He also vowed to bring to justice those involved in the president’s assassination.

“I call on everyone to stay calm and I am very sorry to report to you the death of the president. Me and all the ministers have been working since the news broke and we want to assure you we will bring the killers of the president to justice. Please stay calm and let the authorities do their work. We don’t want the country to plunge into chaos. This is a very sad day for our nation and for our people,” Joseph said. Source CNN

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