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Shooting interrupts tedeum on the anniversary of Haiti’s independence; report one dead and two injured

The speech of the Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, for the 218th anniversary of the independence of the neighboring country was boycotted by a shooting this Saturday.

The Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste published that an exchange of shots took place between the member of the Raboto gang and members of the Haitian National Police, in which one person was killed and two wounded.

“Under the crackle of automatic weapons, Prime Minister Ariel Henry participated in the tedeum of the celebration of the 218th anniversary of the country’s independence on Saturday, January 1, 2022 in Gonaïves,” the publication quoted from the medium.

They added that Henry was unable to deliver his speech at the booth erected in the so-called Place d’Armes (Plaza de Armas) due to the exchange of fire between armed civilians from Raboto and various PNH units sent to the city of independence.

The deceased after the shooting was identified as Yves Dirogene, who died on the way to the hospital after being hit by two bullets, one in the rib cage and another in the left rear. Two other injured receive the care that their case requires.

Celebration

The Haitian media emphasize that no political authority had been able to carry out Henry’s gesture of attending mass in the last four years.

It was 9 in the morning when the procession of the Prime Minister, accompanied by other authorities, arrived at the Cathedral of Gonaïves under strong police protection while the detonations echoed in the surroundings.

“While the head of government was carefully following the development of the ceremony, clashes took place between the armed civilians of Raboto and the different units of the HNP,” says Le Nouvelliste.

The newspaper adds that the Prime Minister did not make his speech in the Place d’Armes, but neither could he in the cathedral as he did not have the authorization of the religious leaders.

According to the EFE agency, inside the Saint Charles de Borome parish there were no faithful, only local authorities and the Government delegation. The ceremony was held despite threats from the armed group, who warned Henry not to appear in town.

The heavily armed irregular controlling the area fired in the direction of the official delegation, while the forces they were protecting responded to the attack and hastily removed the prime minister from the scene.

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

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