Haiti has requested U.S. and U.N. security forces to help it protect key infrastructure like the airport and ports after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise by foreign mercenaries, a government minister said on Friday (July 9).
The assassination of Moise by a squad of gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday (July 7) morning at his home in Port-au-Prince pitched Haiti deeper into a political crisis which may worsen growing hunger, gang violence and a COVID-19 outbreak.
Elections Minister Mathias Pierre said a request for U.S. security assistance was raised in a conversation between Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday. Haiti also made a request for forces to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, Pierre said.
Another aim of the request for security reinforcements would be to make it possible to go ahead with the scheduled presidential and legislative elections on Sept. 26, Pierre said.
A letter from Joseph’s office to the U.N. offices in Haiti, dated July 7 and reviewed by Reuters, requested the dispatch of troops to support the national police in reestablishing security and protecting key infrastructure across the country following Moise’s assassination.
A similar letter, also dated July 7 and seen by Reuters, was sent to the U.S. embassy.
The 15-member U.N. Security Council would need to authorise a deployment of U.N. peacekeepers or police to Haiti. The United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.