Haiti has asked Washington and the UN for troops to secure its ports, airport and other strategic sites after the assassination of president Jovenel Moise opened a power vacuum in the crisis-hit Caribbean nation, an official said Friday.
The United States has already said it will send the FBI and other agents to Port-au-Prince, two days after Moise was shot dead in his home.
In the wake of the slaying “we thought that mercenaries could destroy some infrastructure to create chaos … During a conversation with the US secretary of state and the UN we made this request,” elections minister Mathias Pierre told AFP.
The US State Department and Pentagon both confirmed receiving a request for “security and investigative assistance” and said officials remain in contact with Port-au-Prince but did not specify whether military troops would be deployed.
The UN did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A UN diplomatic source had earlier indicated that a Security Council resolution was needed to do as the Haitians had asked.
Washington had already signaled its willingness to help the Haitian investigation, and White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki added Friday that senior FBI and other officials would be heading to the Caribbean as soon as possible.
The development came as questions swirled about who could have masterminded the audacious assassination, with most members of a hit squad of Colombians and Americans either dead or in custody, and no clear motive made public.