A shooting cut short the anniversary of Haiti’s independence; Report of one dead and two wounded

A shooting cut short the anniversary of Haiti’s independence;  Report of one dead and two wounded

Saturday’s shooting interrupted the speech of Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, marking the 218th anniversary of the independence of the neighboring country.

The Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported about a shootout between a member of the Raboteau gang and members of the Haitian National Police, which left one person dead and two injured.

“Under the crackle of automatic weapons, Prime Minister Ariel Henry took part in the celebration of the 218th anniversary of the country’s independence on Saturday, January 1, 2022 in Gonaives,” the newspaper quoted the publication as saying.

They added that Henry was unable to deliver his speech in the booth set up in the so-called Plaza de Armas due to the exchange of fire between armed civilians from Raboteau and various units of the National Human Rights Army sent to the city of Independence.

The deceased was identified after the shooting as Yves Derogen, who died on the way to the hospital after being shot by two bullets, one in the rib cage and the other in the left stern. Two other wounded are receiving the attention their condition requires.

Celebration

Haitian media assert that no political authority has been able to implement Henry’s gesture of attending Mass in the past four years.

It was nine in the morning when the motorcade of the Prime Minister, accompanied by other authorities, arrived at Gonaives Cathedral under heavy police protection as the explosions echoed in the surrounding areas.

“While the prime minister was closely following the development of the ceremony, clashes took place between armed civilians in Raboto and various units of the Palestinian National Army,” according to Le Nouvelleste.

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The newspaper adds that the Prime Minister did not give his speech at the Place d’Armes, but he was not able to give his speech in the cathedral because he did not have a mandate from the clergy.

According to the EFE, there were no believers within the Parish of Saint Charles de Borome, only local authorities and the government delegation. The ceremony took place despite threats from the armed group, which warned Henry not to attend.

The heavily armed irregulars controlling the area fired towards the official delegation, while the forces they were protecting responded to the attack and hastily expelled the Prime Minister from the scene.

The attack prevented Henry from completing the events he had planned in the city to commemorate the independence of occupied Haiti from France.

Aygen Marsh

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