Up to a dozen countries have offered support to an international mission in violence-plagued Haiti, the United States said Friday, as it offered new logistical help to push forward the force.
“Ten to 12 came with concrete offers to this mission,” State Department number two Victoria Nuland said after a ministerial meeting on Haiti on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
She did not name the countries. Kenya has offered to lead the force with a contribution of 1,000 security personnel.
Jamaica, the Bahamas and Antigua have also made known their willingness to participate.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been calling for nearly a year for a force to deploy to the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, where armed gangs have seized control of vast swathes of land following intersecting public health, political and economic crises.
More than 2,400 people have died in Haiti’s violence since the start of the year, according to the United Nations.
US President Joe Biden has made clear he will not put US troops in harm’s way. But the United States has offered logistical support including through air transport, intelligence, housing and medical support.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the ministerial meeting that the Biden administration would ask Congress for $100 million to support the mission, which includes both troops and police.
“With our support, this mission can deploy within months — and we really have no time to lose,” Blinken told the meeting that included Henry.
He said that the mission could create “space” for Haiti to resolve its political crisis. The country has not held elections since 2016.
“The support mission will not be a substitute for political progress,” Blinken said.
The peacekeepers will not operate under a UN flag, but the United States is leading efforts for a Security Council resolution to authorize the effort.
A resolution co-sponsored by the United States and Ecuador should be finalized next week, said Nuland, who expected “very strong support” on the Security Council.