US says helping investigate Haitian president's killing

·2-min read
Security awaits the arrival of a Haitian diplomatic delegation at the US embassy in the Tabarre neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on July 11, 2021, three days after the assassination of Haitian leader Jovenel Moise

The United States said Monday it was helping investigate Haitian president Jovenel Moise's assassination and did not rule out sending troops at Haiti's request.

According to Haitian authorities, a hit squad of 28 men -- 26 Colombians and two US citizens -- killed the president in his home last week, also injuring his wife.

"At the request of the Haitian government, the Department of Justice, along with its US government partners, is assisting the Haitian National Police in the investigation," the department said in a statement.

"An initial assessment has been conducted in Haiti by senior US officials. The department will continue to support the Haitian government in its review of the facts and circumstances surrounding this heinous attack."

It added it would also investigate if any US laws had been broken.

"Political leaders need to come together," Biden told reporters earlier. "The US stands ready to continue to provide assistance."

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the delegation of US law enforcement and national security officials who visited Haiti on Sunday noted the country's instability in the wake of Moise's murder.

"What was clear from their trip is that there is a lack of clarity about the future political leadership," Psaki said.

She said Haiti's request for US troops to deploy and provide security was "still under analysis." Asked if the White House had ruled out sending troops, she said "no."

No motive is publicly known for the killing, and questions are swirling about who masterminded the assassination.

The US delegation representing the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, State Department and National Security Council met with top Haitian officials.

"The delegation reviewed the security of critical infrastructure with Haitian government officials and met with the Haitian National Police, who are leading the investigation into the assassination," NSC spokeswoman Emily Horne said.

They also met with Haitian political leaders, including interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph and Senate President Joseph Lambert, "to encourage open and constructive dialogue to reach a political accord that can enable the country to hold free and fair elections."

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