Haiti leader’s widow charged in his assassination – National & International News – TUE 20Feb2024



Haiti leader’s widow charged in his assassination.

US vetoes UN Security Council ceasefire resolution for Israel.



Haiti leader’s widow charged in his assassination

In July 2021, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse was murdered in the Presidential palace by a time of hired assassins. Moïse’s wife, Martine, was shot in the arm, while Moïse himself was shot eleven times. Moïse’s death left a power vacuum in Haiti that has yet to be constitutionally filled. As a result, civil order has broken down to the point where large swathes of the country are run by armed gangs. 

Today, a judge leading the investigation into Moïse’s assassination issued indictments for about fifty people, including Martine Moïse. Mrs. Moïse’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

The charges against her are based on testimonies from several people within Moïse’s circle and administration. Their statements suggest that Mrs. Moïse was dissatisfied with her husband’s leadership and hoped to take power for herself. 

A Florida-based attorney for Mrs. Moïse characterized the charges as a politically-motivated attack by Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Since Moïse’s death, Henry has become Haiti’s de facto leader. The indictments are likely to stir further unrest in Haiti which has experienced a surge in riots in recent weeks.

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US vetoes UN Security Council ceasefire resolution for Israel

The US was the sole “no” vote on an Algerian-backed UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza. The UK was the sole abstention, with the other 13 members, including US allies France, Japan, and South Korea, voting in favor. This is the third time since Oct. 7 the US has vetoed a UNSC resolution for a ceasefire.

Statements from the other representatives on the UNSC were damning. Algeria’s UN envoy Amar Bendjama said, “A vote in favor of this draft resolution is a support for the Palestinians right to life. Conversely, voting against it implies an endorsement of the brutal violence and collective punishment inflicted upon them”. China’s envoy Zhang Jun said, “The continued passive avoidance of an immediate ceasefire is no different from giving a green light to the continued slaughter.” 

The US UN envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield alleged that calling for an immediate ceasefire would “hinder” ongoing peace talks between Israel and Hamas. She also criticized the resolution’s lack of a demand for the immediate release of all Israeli hostages in Gaza.

However, there is no indication that Israel is engaging seriously in these peace talks. Hamas has already put a deal on the table that would release all of its Israeli hostages in exchange for a permanent ceasefire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected this deal outright and insists on pursuing a military solution. Israel’s military solution has so far managed to free three of its hostages, while Israeli air strikes have killed at least 50 of them.

The US has proposed its own UNSC resolution for a “temporary” ceasefire “as soon as practicable”. The Biden administration has, tepidly, called on Israel to reconsider its plan to launch a ground military invasion on Rafah, where an estimated 1.5 million refugees from northern Gaza are sheltering, mostly in makeshift tents. Egypt fears that Israel will use this assault as an opportunity to push these refugees out of Gaza altogether and into Egypt. The Egyptian military has been hurriedly constructing a new wall on its side of the Rafah border to contain spillover of refugees into its territory.

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