The interim authorities in Haiti asked the United States and the United Nations to help secure the country’s major infrastructure after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Reuters writes that the US has ruled out military assistance for the time being. A group of foreign mercenaries are suspected of trying to assassinate the head of state – mostly Colombians, but also two Haitian Americans. Washington has pledged to help the investigation. An INTERPOL representative will also go to Haiti. Meanwhile, the president of the Senate has taken power, because the constitutionally empowered chief justice has just died of COVID-19.
Do The assassination of 53-year-old President Jovenel Moise And the shooting of his wife took place on Tuesday night at the home of the head of state. The first lady, Martina Moyes, was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Florida in a serious condition.
Police Chief Leon Charles announced this Thursday evening local time President Moise was killed by 28 armed assailants – 26 Colombian and two Haitian-Americans. Of this group, 15 Colombians, both US citizens, were arrested, identified as James S. 35-year-old police Joseph F.
The US State Department has yet to confirm the arrest of US citizens, but said it had agreed to assist the Haitian police in the investigation.
‘We definitely need help’
Haitian Elections Minister Matthias Pierre said the request for Washington’s military support was made on Wednesday during talks between the country’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. He added that Haiti sent a similar request to the UN Security Council.
In a letter to the US embassy dated Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office requested that US forces be sent to the island to assist local police in restoring security and protecting key infrastructure in the country after the assassination of President Moise, according to Reuters. See the document mentioned. The agency added that a similar message was sent to the United Nations office in Haiti.
– We certainly need help, and therefore we have appealed to our international partners for this – said in an interview with the Associated Press Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph. He explained that it is about taking the main infrastructure into account. “We hope that the forces of our partners will help the national police to deal with the current crisis,” he added.
– We fear that national infrastructure – ports, airports or energy infrastructure – will become the target of attacks – Pierre admitted in an interview with Reuters. He added that it is also about strengthening security before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Haiti scheduled for September 26.
The United States rules out military intervention
It was reported Friday in Washington that senior FBI and Homeland Security officials “will be urgently deployed to Haiti to assess the situation immediately.” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stressed that “the United States remains in close contact with Haiti’s and international partners to assist the Haitian people after the death of the country’s president.” According to her proposal, representatives of the US security services will discuss the necessary forms of assistance.
After the media announced that the Prime Minister, Claude Joseph, had called for a US peacekeeping force, a White House representative told reporters that the US was ruling out military intervention for now. Reuters quoted a senior US official as saying, “There are no plans for US military assistance at this time.” Haitian authorities relied on sending 500 American soldiers to Haiti. The United States sent troops to Haiti after the killing of the former head of state. The agency said it happened in 1915, when President Filburn Guillaume died.
The United Nations Mission in Haiti confirmed that it had received a letter from the Haitian authorities. “The potential deployment of troops, under any circumstances, is subject to the discretion of the Security Council,” said Jose Luis Diaz, a spokesman for the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.
Colombian President Ivan Daque has announced that the head of Colombian intelligence and the intelligence director of the Colombian police will travel to Haiti with Interpol to assist in the ongoing investigation. Colombian army chief General Luis Fernando Navarro told reporters on Friday that Colombian investigators have determined that 17 suspects were former Colombian military personnel who left the army in 2018-2020.
His body was riddled with bullets.
The investigating judge told Reuters that Moyes was found on the floor of his bedroom. As he revealed, the entrance doors to the President’s Palace were breached and other rooms were looted. Judge Carl Henry Destin of Petionville Court stated that his “body was riddled with bullets.” “There was blood around the body and on the stairs,” he added.
The Haitian authorities did not reveal what motive could have been the motive for the murder of the country’s president, nor did they explain how the killers entered the strictly protected presidential residence.
In recent months Moyes, who ruled by decree for more than a year, has faced violent protests. Opposition leaders and their supporters rejected his plans for a constitutional referendum with proposals to strengthen the presidency, and demanded his resignation. Moyes, who took office in 2017, has also been criticized for corruption and mismanagement of the economy. Moyes himself argued that behind the island’s social turmoil were “dark forces” – corrupt politicians and oligarchs who believed his reforms threatened their own interests.
The political and institutional vacuum
According to the Haitian constitution, Moise should have been replaced as chief justice, but he died in recent days of COVID-19.
On Friday, Haiti’s truncated Senate (which Moise dissolved) announced its president, Joseph Lambert, as interim president. He will perform this task until the elections scheduled for September. One third of all thirty Senators participated in the deliberations. Eight of them endorsed Lambert’s approval after the head of state. The Senate, still operating “out of an interest in maintaining the continuity of power in Haiti,” also appointed Ariel Henry to the position of head of the new government, appointed by Moise the day before his tragic death.
In the opinion of the local and international media, assigning the tasks of head of state to Lambert, and the task of forming the government – to Henry, would deepen the chaos and escalate the rivalry between Lambert and Henry on the one hand, and Claude Joseph who was present after the prime minister.
The assassination of the president created a political and institutional vacuum at the highest level in the state. Haitian opposition politician Andre Michel said that there is no provision in the constitution regulating this exceptional situation.
Main image source: PAP / Environmental Protection Agency