US reviewing Haiti’s request for international ‘specialized armed force’

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The United States on Saturday said it was reviewing a request for international support from Haiti, which says it is seeking a “specialized armed force” to address a crisis caused by a blockade of the country’s main fuel port.

The US State Department said criminal actors were undermining Haiti’s efforts to halt the spread of cholera.

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“In that context, we will review the Government of Haiti’s request in coordination with international partners and determine how we can increase our support to help address Haiti’s fuel shortage and security constraints,” it said in a statement.

It did not offer details on how the United States might help Haiti address its security constraints.

The Montana Accord, a group of Haitian intellectuals and activists that has been highly critical of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, described his request as an act of treason and said that foreign troops would only make things worse.

“History teaches us that no foreign force has ever solved the problems of any people on earth,” the Montana Accord said in a statement, adding that Haiti instead needs support for its police force.

“It is our Haitian police force that will have the ability to once and for all solve the insecurity problems that Haitians are experiencing.”

Haiti has ground to a halt since a coalition of gangs blocked the Varreux fuel terminal last month. The lack of gas and diesel has crippled transportation and forced businesses and hospitals to halt operations.

It has also led to a shortage of bottled water, just as the country confirmed a new outbreak of cholera, the spread of which is controlled through hygiene and clean water.

Read more: At least 234 dead or hurt in Haiti gang violence from July 8-12: UN

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