Haiti’s interim leader on Friday, July 9, requested the U.S. troops to the country to help protect key infrastructure following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, but the United States rebuffed the request.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Haiti’s Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph confirmed that the government had asked the United States to deploy troops to stabilize the country and prepare the way for elections in the aftermath of its president’s murder.
“We definitely need assistance and we’ve asked our international partners for help,” Joseph said. “We believe our partners can assist the national police in resolving the situation.”
Joseph told the news outlet that their opponents have tried to take advantage of the murder to seize political power.
“I’m not interested in a power struggle,” Joseph said. “There’s only one way people can become president in Haiti, and that’s through elections.”
According to the AP, the interim leader referred to a group of lawmakers that have recognized Joseph Lambert, Haiti’s dismantled senate, as provisional president, and Ariel Henry, whom Moise designated as prime minister a day before he was assassinated.
Reuters verified Joseph’s request, citing a letter from his office to the U.S. embassy in Haiti, which asked for the dispatch of troops to support the national police in reestablishing security and protecting infrastructure across the country.
In a response from the U.S. side, a Biden administration official said there were “no plans to provide U.S. military assistance at this time.”
However, the administration said it would send senior FBI and Homeland Security officials to help investigate the case.
“The United States remains engaged and in close consultations with our Haitian and international partners to support the Haitian people in the aftermath of the assassination of the president,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
According to Reuters, Haiti’s interim government also sent a similar letter to the United Nations office in Haiti.
In a reply, Jose Luis Diaz, spokesman for the U.N. Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said that “the dispatch of troops under any circumstances would be a matter for the Security Council to decide.”
President Moise was killed at his home in Port-au-Prince by a squad of gunmen on Wednesday morning. Joseph described the murder as a “hateful, inhuman and barbaric act.”