• 12 June, 2024
Foreign Affairs, Geopolitics & National Security

US calls for troops deployment in Haiti after three missionaries killed in gang violence

Sat, 25 May 2024   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Port-au-Prince [Haiti], May 25 (ANI): The Biden administration has called for rapid deployment of a Kenyan-led security force to Haiti following the killing of three missionaries working with a US group in the violence-hit Caribbean country, Al Jazeera reported.
This comes shortly after the non-profit Missions in Haiti Inc announced that three of its missionaries were fatally shot by armed gunmen on Thursday night (local time) in the Haitian capital.
Missouri State Representative Ben Baker on Friday identified his daughter, Natalie Lloyd, and son-in-law, Davy Lloyd, as being among those killed.
The pair had been working as full-time missionaries in the country, and Davy Lloyd was the son of Missions in Haiti Inc’s founders, David and Alicia Lloyd, who started the organisation in 2000. The identity of the third person killed has not been released, as reported by Al Jazeera.
The deaths are the latest in months of spiraling violence in Port-au-Prince, which remains largely under the control of powerful armed groups that have unleashed a wave of deadly attacks across the city.
This incident comes after Kenyan President William Ruto visited President Joe Biden and other senior US leaders in the US to discuss a range of issues, including the long-stalled Haiti deployment.
“The security situation in Haiti cannot wait,” Al Jazeera quoted the National Security Council spokesperson as saying on Friday. He added that Biden had pledged to support the “expedited deployment” of the Kenya-led force in talks with Ruto on Thursday.
“Our hearts go out to the families of those killed as they experience unimaginable grief,” the spokesperson added, referring to the missionaries.
The United Nations and other humanitarian organizations have been calling for more support for the citizens of Haiti amid years of gang violence and political instability, which worsened after the 2021 killing of President Jovenel Moise.
Haiti’s unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry had to step down after the most recent wave of unrest, which kicked off in February with gang attacks on police stations, prisons, and other state institutions, as reported by Al Jazeera.
An interim presidential council has since been appointed to lead the country, but major concerns and uncertainty persist.
The UN humanitarian coordinator in Haiti earlier this month warned that “hundreds of thousands of people, including many women and children, are caught in violence, which shows little sign of abating”.
According to the UN, over 3,60,000 Haitians were internally displaced across the country as of mid-March, and at least 1,500 people have been killed in gang violence since the beginning of the year.
Several Haitian civil society leaders and citizens say the country’s “depleted and ill-equipped” police force needs help to restore security, according to Al Jazeera.
Kenya has committed 1,000 police officers to the UN-backed mission, which is being largely financed by the US and aims to counter the gangs. The deployment is set to eventually comprise up to 2,500 personnel.
But it remains unclear when the mission will begin after officials had said it could be launched to coincide with Kenyan President Ruto’s visit to the US. (ANI)

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