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Haitian citizens argue with police as they gather in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tabarre, Haiti on July 10, asking for asylum. Photo: VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images

The Defense Department is "analyzing" a request by Haitian authorities to send troops to assist in stabilizing the country and protect critical infrastructure following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

The latest: No decision has been made, Kirby said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. "We're analyzing it, just like we would any other request for assistance here at the Pentagon. It's going through a review."

  • Haitian officials have also reached out to the United Nations about sending peacekeeping forces, Reuters reports.
  • Elections Minister Mathias Pierre told AP Saturday the troops were needed because local police didn't have enough resources, saying: "We're asking for small troops to assist and help us. ... As long as we are weak, I think we will need our neighbors."
  • Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said in an interview with ABC News on Saturday that police had "the right people" in custody and revealed that Moïse was "tortured" before he was killed.

What they're saying: The State Department said in a statement Axios on Friday that the Haitian government "has requested security and investigative assistance, and we remain in regular contact with Haitian officials to discuss how the United States can assist."

  • "I think that’s really where are our energies are best applied right now, in helping them get their arms around investigating this incident and figuring out who’s culpable, who’s responsible and how best to hold them accountable going forward,’' Kirby said on Sunday.

What to watch: White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the U.S. will send federal law enforcement officers to aid in the investigation.

  • Senior officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security will travel to Port-au-Prince "as soon as possible" to "assess the situation and how we may be able to assist," Psaki said.
  • The White House will also send coronavirus vaccines to Haiti as early as next week, according to Psaki.

The big picture: 2o suspects have been detained over the assassination, which also wounded Martine Moïse, Joseph said.

  • An audio recording, claimed to be of the first lady, was posted to her verified Twitter account on Saturday. In it, the female voice says that the deceased president's enemies orchestrated his assassination, but does not identify anyone specifically.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • The assassination comes amid increasing political turmoil and gang violence in Port-au-Prince as inflation and a delayed election contribute to the state of crisis in the Western Hemisphere's most impoverished nation.

Go deeper: Coup claim deepens Haiti's political crisis

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information throughout.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Updated Sep 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.

25 mins ago - World

UN chief urges U.S. and China to fix "dysfunctional relationship"

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a Sept. 13 press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / Coffini/AFP via Getty Images

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres raised concerns in an interview with AP, published Monday, of another Cold War between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Guterres made the comments ahead of this week's UN General Assembly in New York. Guterres told AP the U.S.-U.K. deal to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia "is just one small piece of a more complex puzzle ... this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States."