Haitian President's assassination: Pentagon says US team going to Haiti to assess needs

It is not immediately clear how long the US team of security and law enforcement experts will remain in Haiti.
It is not immediately clear how long the US team of security and law enforcement experts will remain in Haiti.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (REUTERS) - A team of United States security and law enforcement experts is travelling to Haiti to determine what assistance Washington can provide following the assassination of the Haitian President last week, the Pentagon said on Sunday (July 11).

"Today, an inter-agency team largely from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are heading down to Haiti right now to see what we can to do help in the investigative process," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told Fox News Sunday. 

"That's really where our energies are best applied right now - in helping them get their arms around investigating this incident and figuring out who's culpable... and how best to hold them accountable," he said in the interview.

US President Joe Biden will be briefed by the team when it returns and "then make decisions about the way forward", a senior administration official told Reuters separately.

Haiti has sought US aid in securing the country and investigating the attack that killed President Jovenel Moise last Wednesday at his Port-au-Prince home and plunged the impoverished island nation further into turmoil.

The Haitian authorities have said two Haitian Americans were among the suspected assassins.

It was not immediately clear how long the US team would remain in Haiti. The administration official said on Sunday that Washington would also consult with its regional partners and the United Nations.

The US has so far rebuffed Haiti's request for troops, while the UN would need Security Council authorisation to send armed forces.

Mr Kirby said: "We're analysing it just like we would any other request for assistance at the Pentagon. It's going through a review."