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(CMC) – Two members of President Jovenel Moise’s security team were wounded as they exchanged gunfire with unidentified gunmen in Pont-Rouge on Wednesday while he attended a ceremony commemorating the 212th anniversary of the assassination of Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
The incident occurred while President Moise was laying a floral wreath in memory of the father of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country. He was whisked away unharmed from the area by air to another destination.
During the shooting, two of the security officers of the National Palace General Security Unit (USGPN) were wounded. Unconfirmed reports said that at least three other people were injured.
“He escaped unscathed from the shooting which took place in the first part of the ceremony. That is to say, the opposition programme is just beginning, because we are expecting a lot of protests in every region of the country today,” said sociologist Gilbert Mervellus.
Despite the incident, travelled to Marchand Dessalines where he attended a mass.
Earlier, the authorities had announced a temporary ban on the carrying of firearms throughout the country.
“All licenses to carry a firearm are considered, in this circumstance, to be a license to possess firearms within the boundaries of the domicile of the citizen who is the holder, in accordance with Articles 268-1 and 268-2 of the Constitution,” Justice and Public Security Minister, Jean Roody Aly said, adding that the ban would remain in effect until Thursday, October 19 at midnight.
He said law enforcement and judicial authorities are the only ones allowed to travel during this period with their regulatory and service weapons.
The authorities also called on private security agencies to adopt the temporary in order to prevent their staff from traveling with service weapons.
The move comes as Haitians have taken to the streets Wednesday to protest several issues such as the PetroCaribe funds, the cost of living, the minimum wage, the reform of the Constitution as well as the frequent overseas visits of President Moise.
Aly said the National Police of Haiti and the Public Prosecutor’s Offices of the Republic have been instructed to crack down with the utmost rigor against anyone violating the laws.
But one of the organisers of the protest march, Michel André, said that the “decision of the Minister of Justice to suspend the carrying of arms throughout the territory is illegal.
“Only the DGPNH can make such a decision. It is a strategy to facilitate the task to the armed groups close to the power. No question of obeying an illegal order,” he added.