Haiti Names Committee to Plan President Moise’s Funeral

Plans are under way for Haitian President Jovenel Moise’s funeral.Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph said planning was being done in consultation with first lady Martine Moise and the Moise family. An official government announcement was issued ahead of the press conference to introduce members of the official planning committee.”The council of ministers will oversee the committee’s work. The institutions and public administration will provide all necessary resources in completing this mission. The government should provide members of the committee with everything they need while being respectful of the task at hand,” Joseph said.In addition to himself, Joseph said the committee members include the ministers of defense, culture and communication, and interior; the director of the cabinet (chief of staff); the secretary-general of the presidency; and the director-general of the MUPANAH (Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien).The prime minister called on Haitian citizens to participate in the funeral ceremony and events honoring Moise’s life.”We must bid him farewell with honor and dignity,” Joseph said.He did not specify when the funeral would be held but announced that further details would be forthcoming.FILE – Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses the press July 1, 2021, in Washington.Political voidMeanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti tweeted a video message from Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the situation in Haiti and the assistance the U.S. is providing in the aftermath of the assassination. The message was posted with both Creole and French translations.”The United States is in close consultations with our Haitian and international partners to support the Haitian people in the aftermath of the assassination of President Moise. We urge the country’s political leaders to bring the country together around a more peaceful and inclusive, peaceful and secure vision and pave the road toward free and fair elections this year,” Blinken said in the video message..FILE – State Department spokesperson Ned Price speaks during a media briefing at the State Department, July 7, 2021.State Department spokesman Ned Price told VOA the administration is concerned about Haiti’s institutions and the path to elections.”It’s about Haiti’s institutions. We continue to support the Haitian people and their constitution, knowing that the constitution needs to be an enduring framework for what happens next,” Price said. “And so yes, in our view there needs to be free and fair elections. They need to happen this year — legislative elections, presidential elections — pursuant to the Haitian constitution. And that is precisely why we have continued to support them.”Assassination investigationHaiti’s National police issued three arrest warrants Tuesday for individuals connected to Moise’s assassination. Copies of the documents sent to VOA name the suspects as: Joseph Felix Badio, Rodolf Jaar (aka Dodof) and John Joel Joseph. They are wanted for murder, attempted murder, armed burglary and are described as “armed and dangerous.” The police are seeking the public’s help in locating the individuals.Head of Haitian National Police, Leon Charles, pauses during a news conference in Port-au-Prince, July 12, 2021.Police Chief Leon Charles said police have arrested 18 Colombians and three Haitians in connection with the attack, and that at least five other people were believed to be at large.Police said a Haitian man with ties to the U.S., Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, is believed to be the mastermind behind the assassination plot. Haitian Americans James Solages, 35, and Joseph G. Vincent, 55, are in police custody.State Department spokesman Price said officials are aware that Haitian Americans are in police custody.”We continue to monitor the situation closely. As in all cases, we will provide appropriate consular services to detained U.S. citizens,” Price said. “Obviously, privacy considerations preclude us from saying much more, but I do suspect that once we have had access to all three American citizens who are detained, we’ll be in a position to confirm that.”State Department correspondent Nike Ching and White House bureau chief Steve Herman contributed to this report. 

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