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Haitian authorities have asked US military forces to help stabilize the country

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/9/2021 kmclaughlin@businessinsider.com (Kelly McLaughlin,John Haltiwanger)
a group of people wearing military uniforms: Citizens take part in a protest near the police station of Petion Ville after Haitian president Jovenel Moïse was murdered on July 08, 2021 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Richard Pierrin/Getty Images © Richard Pierrin/Getty Images Citizens take part in a protest near the police station of Petion Ville after Haitian president Jovenel Moïse was murdered on July 08, 2021 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Richard Pierrin/Getty Images
  • Haitian officials fear terrorists will attack the country's infrastructure in the wake of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
  • Haiti's minister of elections told the New York Times that officials have asked the US to send military troops down for support.
  • He said officials want help protecting Haiti's port, airport, and gas supply.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Government officials in Haiti have asked the United States military to send in troops to help stabilize the country in the wake of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

Haitian minister of elections, Mathias Pierre, told the New York Times that officials had asked for help protecting Haiti's port, airport, and gas supply following the assassination, saying that he fears "urban terrorists" may attack the country's infrastructure in coming days.

"The group that financed the mercenaries want to create chaos in the country," he said. "Attacking the gas reserves and airport might be part of the plan."

In a statement responding to the assassination on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said that the US stood "ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider regarding whether the US would honor Haiti's request for troops to be sent in.

Moïse's killing came amid escalating political instability and violence in the country. The killing has exacerbated the unrest, with the leadership of Haiti in dispute. Fifteen suspects have been arrested in the killing, including two US citizens. The two Americans said they were working as translators for the hit squad, and were not in the room when the assassination occurred, a Haitian judge investigating the killing said on Friday.

The motivation for Moïse's killing remains unclear, though he had no shortage of enemies. Moïse's political opponents accused him of staying in office beyond his term, and his refusal to step down prompted protests. He also faced backlash over the fact he'd been ruling by decree for over a year after dissolving parliament and failing to hold legislative elections.

The US has staged military interventions in Haiti before, and Marines occupied the country from 1915 to 1934. In the decades that followed the occupation, Haiti saw a number of coups and a series of dictators and military leaders ruled over the country. In 1994, the Clinton administration sent 25,000 troops into Haiti to restore a president who had been ousted via a military coup.

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