Among those in attendance were Helen La Lime, special representative of the U.N. secretary-general for Haiti. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is leading a delegation from the United States.
In the run-up to the funeral, there has been tension in Haiti as residents grapple with a killing that is still being investigated by police, with key elements of the plot remaining unclear.
In Haiti’s north, where Moïse was born and where his funeral will be held, there were protests and unrest Wednesday and Thursday as demonstrators set up roadblocks and demanded accountability for the president’s death. The Associated Press reported that one man appeared to have been shot dead Wednesday in Quartier-Morin, a commune outside Cap-Haïtien.
Witnesses told the news agency that they saw burning tires and men with weapons demanding justice for Moïse at barricades along the main road to Cap-Haïtien, Haiti’s second-largest city. There were also reports of angry protests when National Police Chief Léon Charles visited Cap-Haïtien earlier in the day.
The assassination brought an abrupt end to the political career of a man once known as “Neg Bannan nan” (“Banana Man” in Creole) for his place in northern Haiti’s farming community, where he worked as a banana exporter before going into politics in 2015.
Moïse was born in Trou-du-Nord, 17 miles from Cap-Haïtien. He graduated with a political science degree from the Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince, where he met his future wife.
A novice candidate who ran with the center-right Haitian Tèt Kale Party, Moïse took office only in 2017 after a challenging 14-month election process that saw violence and allegations of fraud. As president, he was criticized by many in Haiti and the international community for delaying elections.
In the early hours of July 7, gunmen stormed into his home and shot him dead. Police have arrested more than 20 people, including two Haitian Americans and several former Colombian soldiers, but the precise motive for the killing remains unclear.
The assassination also led to confusion about who would lead Haiti in the event of a president’s death, with three politicians claiming they were the rightful leader. On Tuesday, Ariel Henry was sworn in as the country’s new prime minister after interim prime minister Claude Joseph agreed to step aside.
Moïse’s widow, Martine Moïse, made a surprise return to Haiti on Saturday after receiving medical treatment in Florida for injuries sustained in the attack that killed her husband.
She made a public appearance Wednesday at an event at the National Pantheon Museum in Port-au-Prince that paid tribute to her husband. Dressed in black and with her arm in a sling, she was accompanied by her three children.
In a letter to the Haitian people posted on social media, Martine Moïse she thanked them for their sympathies and added that the funeral Friday would be paid for by the family rather than the public treasury.
“Your moral support gives the presidential family the courage to go through this great pain,” she wrote.
The formal state funeral for Jovenel Moïse is to be held at his family’s compound on the outskirts of Cap-Haïtien, a historic city that was one of the centers of Haiti’s revolutionary movement more than 200 years ago. The nearby town of Milot served as an early capital for post-revolution Haiti.
The United States announced Thursday that it was appointing Daniel Foote, a career diplomat who previously served as deputy chief of mission in Haiti and ambassador to Zambia, to serve as its special envoy for Haiti.
This report has been updated