WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) -A team of U.S. security and law enforcement experts is traveling to Haiti to determine what assistance Washington can provide following the assassination of the Haitian president last week, the Pentagon said on Sunday.
“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,” Kirby said in the interview.
President Joe Biden will be briefed by the team when it returns and “then make decisions about the way forward,” a senior Biden administration official told Reuters separately.
Haiti has sought U.S. aid in securing the country and investigating the attack that killed President Jovenel Moise on Wednesday at his Port-au-Prince home and plunged the impoverished island nation further into turmoil. Haitian authorities have said two Haitian Americans were among the suspected assassins.
It was not immediately clear how long the U.S. 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 United States has so far rebuffed Haiti’s request for troops, while the United Nations would need Security Council authorization to send armed forces.
Kirby said: “We’re analyzing it just like we would any other request for assistance at the Pentagon. It’s going through a review.”
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Susan Heavey; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)