Haitian prime minister, Ariel Henry, was pressured to flee a ceremony honoring Haitian founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines when gunmen rushed the scene firing their weapons.

The assault occurred the day after a bus filled with American missionaries have been kidnapped by gang members in Port-au-Prince. US officers are working with authorities in Haiti to barter their launch. The abductors are demanding $1 million per individual — a complete of $17 million to soundly set the hostages free, according to CBS News.

The annual ceremony commemorating Dessalines, who led the island nation when it grew to become the primary within the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery, was the primary emperor of Haiti.  Dessalines was assassinated in 1806. 

Allegedly the prime minister and his safety couldn’t even attain the situation of the celebration due to the gunmen, according to The Guardian. As an alternative of Henry, kingpin Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, and his gang members officiated the commemoration ceremony. Cherizier is the pinnacle of the G9 gang, a collective of 9 Haitian gangs based mostly in Port-au-Prince.

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Social media video appears to indicate Cherizier laying the floral wreath and paying his respects to Dessalines whereas sporting a white go well with and shirt, which is Haiti’s gown code for officers on nationwide holidays.

On Sunday, a number of members of Cherizier’s gang have been seen sporting T-shirts with the image of former Haitian president Jovenel Moïse, who was assassinated in July, with the phrases “Justice for Jovenel” emblazoned on them.

The missionaries are from an Ohio-based church group and authorities consider they have been taken hostage by the “400 Mawozo” gang. It’s unclear if Cherizier, a former police officer, has any reference to them, however he has claimed to be a group chief giving safety from rival gangs, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

Prime Minister Henry stays below investigation in Haiti in regards to the July 7 assasination of Moïse. The previous president was killed at his house in an in a single day ambush.