Two weeks after President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, Haiti is getting a new leader. The news comes as more details of the late leader’s final moments in power are revealed.
Acting prime minister Claude Joseph announced on Monday that he is stepping down and handing power to his rival Ariel Henry, the politician who was slated to become prime minister before Moïse was shot to death at his home, on July 7. When Moïse was killed, Joseph took over as interim prime minister. “Everyone who knows me knows that I am not interested in this battle, or in any kind of power grab,” Joseph said in an interview with the Washington Post. “The president was a friend to me. I am just interested in seeing justice for him.”
The leadership change comes as chilling new details of the assassination emerge. Moïse spent ten minutes desperately trying to contact palace security and police for help as gunmen surrounded his Port-au-Prince home in the early hours of July 7, reports the Miami Herald. “My life is in danger. Come quick; come save my life,” Moïse said in a call before being gunned down in his bedroom, where his wife was wounded but survived. But police were slow to send help and arrived too late.
Authorities have identified the suspected assassins as foreign mercenaries and professional killers, including former Colombian special-forces soldiers and two Haitian Americans. They “came inside, went straight to the room and kept talking to someone on the phone to identify the president,” an unnamed officer told the Herald. After describing the president’s appearance on the phone, the shooter “turned to face the president and shot him without any conversation,” the officer added.