Haitian officials are officially calling for US military intervention in the country to secure key infrastructure points

“The Haitian government has requested assistance in security management and investigation. We remain in regular contact with Haitian officials to discuss how the United States can help.”, said a State Department spokesman, quoted by The Guardian.

Separately, the White House said the United States would send a delegation that would include senior FBI officials and members of the Department of Homeland Security as soon as possible.

The Caribbean country is surrounded by uncertainty as a result of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse at the beginning of Wednesday. Since then, violence has escalated in the streets, and the country has entered a constitutional crisis with a suspended parliament and two rival officials claiming to be acting prime ministers.

Haitian police said the murder was carried out by 28 mercenaries. Seventeen of the suspects were captured after violent fighting in Pétion-Ville, a suburb of the capital Port-au-Prince. Three others have been killed and eight are still at large.

In a letter requesting assistance from US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Washington’s ambassador to Washington, Bocchit Edmond, specifically called for help from FBI and Justice Department training programs.

Any American military presence would probably be highly controversial: in 1915, American troops invaded Haiti after the assassination of President Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. American troops did not leave Haiti until 1934 and remained closely involved in the country’s domestic politics.

US forces returned to Haiti in 1994 after President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a military coup. Between 2004 and 2017, UN peacekeeping troops were stationed in Haiti as part of a highly controversial mission. The troops were accused of abuses and causing a cholera outbreak that killed thousands of locals.

“Another deployment of foreign troops to Haiti would be a disaster,” Jake Johnston, a specialist at the Center for Economic and Political Research, told The Guardian.

Johnston added that a deployment of US troops is unlikely, but not impossible.

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