By: Alyssa Wilson
President Joe Biden announced Thursday U.S. troops will not be sent to Haiti following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.
According to the Associated Press, Biden said sending troops to help stabilize Haiti is not the plan. He said, “We’re only sending American Marines to our embassy. The idea of sending forces to Haiti is not on the agenda.”
Haiti’s interim government asked the United States and United Nations to deploy troops to protect its infrastructure as gang violence increased after Moise’s murder. Biden hinted he was not open to the request as he is pulling the country’s troops from Afghanistan.
Elections for a new president are set to take place in Haiti in 120 days, and the country’s election’s minister Mathias Pierre says the country is dealing with a “fragile situation.” He is hopeful Biden’s comments mean the door is not closed on troops being sent in the future.
“This is not a closed door. The evolution of the situation will determine the outcome,” Pierre said. “In the meantime, the government is doing everything we can to stabilize the country, return to a normal environment and organize elections while trying to come to a political agreement with most political parties.”
President Moïse was assassinated in the early hours of July 7. Prior to the murder, Haiti was growing increasingly unstable under Moïse’s leadership, the Associated Press reported. He ruled for more than two years after the country failed to hold elections. His opposers accused him of seeking to increase his power in ways that included approving a decree that limited the power of a court responsible for auditing government contracts. Leaders who opposed him demanded he step down and end his term in February 2021.
Haiti’s last presidential assassination took place in 1915, when an angry mob dragged President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam out of the French Embassy and beat him to death. President Woodrow Wilson sent U.S. Marines to the country, and the forces stayed for nearly two decades.
If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.