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U.S. appoints special envoy for Haiti in wake of its president's assassination

Career diplomat Daniel Foote, who is shown being sworn-in as U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, is special envoy for Haiti, the State Department announced Thursday. File Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department/Wikimedia Commons
Career diplomat Daniel Foote, who is shown being sworn-in as U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, is special envoy for Haiti, the State Department announced Thursday. File Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department/Wikimedia Commons

July 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State announced Thursday a special envoy for Haiti in wake of assassination of its president earlier this month.

The State Department appointed Ambassador Daniel Foote, a Senior Foreign Service career member, as special envoy for Haiti "to facilitate long-term peace and stability and support efforts to hold free and fair presidential and legislative elections," according to the announcement.

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"Special Envoy Foote brings extensive diplomatic experience to this role -- including as Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti and as the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia," the announcement stated. "The Department congratulates Special Envoy Foote as he takes on his new role and thanks him for his continued service to his country."

Haiti's President Jovenel Moise, 53, was assassinated in his home on July 7 and his wife was injured, leaving the nation under control of the National Police and Armed Force, Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said.

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On Monday, Joseph said he will vacate the post to rival Ariel Henry, who was named to the post prior to the assassination.

Senior U.S. officials traveled to Haiti earlier this month after the interim government requested assistance with security.

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Authorities have arrested several people in connection with investigation into the assassination of the president, including three police officers, 18 Columbians, and three Haitian Americans, including Haitian-born doctor Christian Emmanuel Sanon with ties to Florida.

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Moise had ruled the country by decree since early last year, refusing to hold parliamentary elections slated for January 2020, and summarily dismissing all of the country's elected mayors in July 2020, prompting protests.

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