Eleven suspects were arrested after a group of armed attackers broke into Taiwan’s embassy in Haiti, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday, adding that it was unclear if the suspects were also involved in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
Interim Haitian Prime Minister Claude Joseph on Wednesday confirmed that Moise, 53, had been assassinated at his residence that morning, while his wife, Martine Moise, was wounded.
MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said yesterday that the embassy, about 2km from Moise’s residence in Petion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, was closed “for safety reasons” after the murder.
Embassy staff have been working from home since Wednesday and the office has suspended public services, Ou said.
Early on Thursday morning, embassy security personnel discovered an armed group of people breaking through the embassy’s security perimeter and entering the courtyard, she said, adding that security immediately notified embassy staff and the Haitian police.
The embassy agreed to let police enter the embassy to conduct a search, which started at about 4pm on Thursday, with the police arresting the suspects, she said.
“As for whether the suspects were involved in the assassination of the president of Haiti, that will need to be investigated by the Haitian police,” Ou said.
Some doors and windows had been broken at the embassy, but no other property had been stolen or damaged, she said.
The ministry has asked the embassy to bolster security, Ou said.
Haiti is one of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies.
The government reiterated its support for Joseph in leading Haiti to overcome this crisis and restore order, Ou said, adding that Taiwan strongly condemns the “cruel and barbaric” assassination.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday said that the nation stands together with its ally in this difficult time.
Additional reporting by AFP and AP
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