Haitian President Jovenel Moise on Thursday broke his silence after a week of violent protests demanding his resignation as the US announced it was pulling "non-emergency personnel" from the country over the deadly unrest.
"I will not leave the country in the hands of armed gangs and drug traffickers," Moise said in a pre-recorded address broadcast on state television, speaking in Creole in the aftermath of clashes between authorities and demonstrators in the capital Port-au-Prince.
Since February 7, at least seven people have died as Haiti has been plunged into political crisis, with everyday life paralyzed by protests and barricades in the largest towns.
The protesters, angry about skyrocketing inflation and the alleged theft of nearly $2 billion in Venezuelan oil relief to the island, are demanding Moise's resignation.
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