US Sends Troops To Haiti As Crisis Grows

The Pentagon announced that it deployed an additional team of US Marines to help protect the American Embassy in Haiti the day after Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his resignation, NBC News reported.

In a March 13 statement, the US Southern Command announced it had deployed a fleet anti-terrorism security team (FAST) to the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince which has faced weeks of violent unrest from criminal gangs.

The Marines would provide added security at the Embassy to allow non-emergency personnel to leave the country.

The US Embassy would remain operating under limited conditions, focusing on assisting US citizens still in Haiti and supporting the Haitian government’s peaceful transfer of power following Prime Minister Henry’s resignation.

Over the previous weekend, the military sent forces to Haiti to help airlift non-essential personnel out of the country.

Prime Minister Henry announced in a video address on March 11 that he would resign immediately after the installation of a transitional presidential council made up of members chosen by representatives from several Haitian sectors of society.

Henry’s government would continue handling government affairs until a new prime minister and government were appointed.

Haiti has been in the grip of the worst instability and violence the country has seen in decades, with armed criminal gangs attacking the island nation’s capital, seizing a main seaport and the airport, laying siege to prisons, and threatening civil war unless Henry agreed to step down.

Henry was out of the country visiting Kenya when the airport was seized and was forced to land in Puerto Rico.

In his video announcement from Puerto Rico, the outgoing prime minister said Haiti needed peace, stability, and “sustainable development” to rebuild. He called for calm and urged the Haitian people to do everything necessary to restore stability and peace.

The Pentagon said it was doubling funding for a multinational security mission in Haiti and that the US would work with Kenya and other US partners to “restore security” in the country. The additional support would include airlifts, information sharing, and medical assistance, the Pentagon said.