Haiti requests US troops to protect infrastructure after assassination
Haiti’s government has requested that the United States send troops to protect key infrastructure following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse this week, the elections minister, Mathias Pierre, said on Friday.
Haitian officials said they had requested military support to protect port, airport, gasoline reserves and other key infrastructure, the New York Times reported.
Jalina Porter, a state department spokeswoman, told reporters earlier on Friday that she could not confirm such a request had been made.
The Caribbean country has been mired in uncertainty since the Moïse’s assassination early on Wednesday: parliament has long been suspended and two rival officials claimed to be interim prime minister.
Moïse’s death followed a spate of high-profile killings – including those of a journalist and a human rights activist – and months of gang violence which has been compared to an undeclared civil war.
But any US military presence is likely to be highly controversial: in 1915, US troops invaded after the assassination of President Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, launching a ruinous occupation that saw the introduction of Jim Crow racial segregation laws in what was the first country in the world to ban slavery. US troops did not leave Haiti until 1934, and remained closely involved in its fortunes.
US forces returned to Haiti in 1994, after the elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was toppled in a military coup.
More details soon …