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Haiti’s president has 20 arrested over coup conspiracy

Haiti Protest
A protester sets up a burning barricade during a protest to demand the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

According to reports, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse has had at least 20 people arrested due to a coup conspiracy.

The president held a press conference at Haiti’s airport in Port-au-Prince stating that several high ranking officials have been plotting together to get him out of office:

“There was an attempt on my life,” he said.

While President Moïse did not reveal many details about the alleged coup, Prime Minister Joseph Joute reported that officials found several weapons and a speech that Supreme Court Judge Yvickel Dabrézil allegedly wrote if he became provisional president. It was also reported that the Inspector General had been in touch with high-ranking security officials in an attempt to arrest Moïse.

After the president’s press conference, André Michel who is one of Haiti’s top opposition leaders, held his own press conference calling for President Moïse’s arrest. During the conference Michel stated that Dabrézil’s arrest was illegal because he has automatic immunity and he called for civil disobedience.

“We ask for his release immediately,”  he said of Dabrézil, adding that the court system should shut down until he’s free.

The arrests were made one day after opposition leaders pushed for Moïse to resign.

Moïse was sworn in, in 2017 after the appointment of a provisional president for one year due to a chaotic election. Opposition leaders claim that his five year term should have ended on Sunday, however, Moïse  says his term ends in February 2022.