“The United States remains committed,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday, adding that senior FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials were traveling to Port Au Prince “as soon as possible,” she said. that they will assess the situation and provide assistance for security and investigation.
The Haitian government has asked U.S. troops to help protect infrastructure, ports, airports and energy systems, Haiti’s election minister Mathias Pierre told CNN. Mathias said the request was for a limited number of about 500 troops and that he expected the threat to be “potential mercenaries.”
The Pentagon acknowledged the request Friday afternoon.
“The Haitian government has requested security and investigation assistance, and we remain in regular contact with Haitian officials to discuss how the United States can assist. For more information, we refer you to the US State Department, “the Pentagon said in a statement.
CNN has reached out to the State Department.
The pressure on reports that two Haitian Americans were involved in the murder, Psaki declined to comment.
“The investigation is being led by Haitian police forces on the ground,” she said, refusing to come ahead of the ongoing investigation.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price also confirmed on Friday that Haitian national police were requesting investigative assistance from the United States, and the United States is responding to that request.
Psaki also outlined existing U.S. assistance to the country, including the State Department’s Office of International Drugs and Law Enforcement, direct assistance to the Haitian National Police on gang violence and community intervention.
In addition, she noted that the Department of Homeland Security extended the temporary protected status to Haiti for 18 months, which DHS is working to implement.
Haiti will also receive vaccines from the United States, Psaki added, which could arrive “as early as next week” pending delivery to the airport.
The country has been one of only a few across the globe that has not yet started vaccinating against the virus.
This story has been updated worth more information.
CNN’s Caitlin Hu, Oren Liebermann, Lionel Vital, Stefano Pozzebon, Helen Regan, Etant Dupain, Gerardo Lemos, Ivana Kottasová and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.