US to Help Investigate Haitian President’s Murder but Will Not Send Troops

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In the wake of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, the United States turned down Haiti’s request for its military to assist in securing key infrastructure. However, U.S officials offered to help investigate who is behind the suspected assassin squad, on July 9, 2021.

Haiti’s political crisis deepened after the president’s killing in his home in Port-au-Prince, which raises concern over “growing hunger, gang violence, and a COVID-19 outbreak.”

Claude Joseph, the Haitian Interim Prime Minister said the country’s key infrastructure — energy, seaport, and airport — might be the next targets. on Wednesday he asked for assistance from the United Nations in Haiti and the United States. Joseph’s request included troops to support the Haitian National Police in establishing security in the aftermath of the presidential assassination.

At this time, the United States has no plans to send military assistance. On Thursday the White House vowed Haitianto send senior officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to assess the situation. The agency heads will determine how they can best assist Haitian officials.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said the White House is aware of the arrest of two American citizens — James Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55 — by Haitian police. They are closely monitoring the situation.

Columbia will also send law enforcement and intelligence officials to assist Haitian investigators after several of their citizens were arrested for killing Moïse.

The Taiwan Embassy in Pétion-Ville allowed Haitian police to enter its campus after they found a group of armed men had broken into the embassy not far from the president’s home.

After a gun battle with Haitian authorities in Pétion-Ville 17 of the men were arrested, including the two Haitian-Americans from Florida. Haitian police report three others were killed and eight remain at large. During the arrests, authorities confiscated passports and a large number of weapons. They used the passports to verify the identification of each suspect in custody.

Meanwhile, authorities will continue investigating Moïse’s assassination. They are working to uncover the identities of the the operation’s masterminds.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

Reuters: U.S rebuffs Haiti troops request after president’s assassination; by Steve Holland and Andre Paultre
ABC News: Haiti requests US send troops following president’s assassination; by Conor Finnegan and Aicha El Hammar Castano

Featured and Top Image by Juan Manuel Herrera Courtesy of OEA – OAS’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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