Home WORLD-NEWS Haiti seeks US troops after wild day of gunfights and suspicion

Haiti seeks US troops after wild day of gunfights and suspicion

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PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti’s interim government said it has asked the US to deploy troops to protect key infrastructure as it tries to stabilize the country and prepare for elections in the wake of the assassination President Jovenel Moise.
“We absolutely need help and we have asked our international partners for help,” interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said Friday. Haiti’s remarkable request for military aid from the US, a former colonial overlord who has repeatedly intervened in the nation’s affairs, is a measure of how deeply shaken the nation by days of chaos and intrigue. But the Biden administration has so far given no indication that it will provide military aid. For now, it only plans to send FBI officials to assist with the investigation.
In the streets, vigilantes searched for suspects and police killed at least three people in gun battles. The vast majority of those arrested turned out to be from Colombia – former soldiers are said to have become mercenaries.
And in a brewing political crisis, suspicion has fueled what could lead to a stalemate between rival governments. On Friday, a group of lawmakers announced that they had recognized Joseph Lambert, the head of Haiti’s dismantled Senate, as provisional president in a fight against the authority of the interim government. They also recognized as Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who had chosen Moise to replace Joseph a day before his assassination, but who had not yet held office or formed a government. One of those lawmakers, Rosemond Pradel, said Joseph “is not qualified and does not have the legal right” to lead Haiti. Joseph expressed his dismay that others would try to take advantage of Moise’s death for political gain. “I’m not interested in a power struggle,” said Joseph, who assumed leadership with the support of the military.
Meanwhile, more details about the crime emerged. Of the 20 people detained by police, 18 were identified as Colombians and two as Americans of Haitian descent, and five more suspects are said to be free.

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