US officials visit Haiti to help in assassination probe

Haiti has asked for US troops to help secure government infrastructure and prevent further unrest

A US delegation is visiting Haiti in the aftermath of last week's assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse.

In a statement on Monday, the White House said representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and National Security Council had travelled to Port-au-Prince at the request of the Haitian government following the July 7 assassination.

Haiti has already requested US troops to help secure critical government infrastructure and prevent further unrest. It also has requested UN security assistance.

“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," the White House said.

US officials also met with Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph and Prime Minister-Designate Ariel Henry, 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.”

The US officials “committed to supporting the Haitian government as it seeks justice in this case and affirmed the United States’ support for the people of Haiti in this challenging time.”

The statement also reiterated US solidarity with Haiti and support “in becoming a safer, more democratic country.”

President Joe Biden made some short remarks to news reporters on Monday.

“The people of Haiti deserve peace and security and Haiti’s political leaders need to come together for the good of their country,” he said.

“The United States stands ready to continue to provide assistance, and I’ll have more for you as we move on.”

Haitian authorities made series of arrests over the weekend of suspected assassins.

The main suspect was identified as Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who came into the country on a private jet in June, Police Chief Leon Charles said at a news conference on Sunday.

Haitian authorities say 28 people were involved in the assassination, including 26 Colombians and two US citizens originally from Haiti. Several suspects have been arrested by Haitian authorities.

The two US citizens were identified as James Solages and Joseph Vincent, authorities announced.

Updated: July 12th 2021, 7:20 PM