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US Congress orders probe into Haiti leader’s assassination

The US Congress has ordered a probe into the July 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise amid continued unanswered questions about the slaying.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to order the State Department to issue a report within 180 days that would provide a “detailed description” of the circumstances surrounding Moise’s killing.

The report, already authorized by the House of Representatives, would also look at whether there was interference in the official investigation and if anyone responsible was ever employed by the US government.

US prosecutors earlier this month charged a former Colombian soldier, Mario Palacios, in the plot to kidnap or kill Moise, an operation in which three Colombian mercenaries were killed and others arrested.

Questions have remained on the motivations behind the killing of Moise, who had controversially extended his rule in the Caribbean country.

Colombian police earlier said that detained operatives contended they were planning to capture Moise and hand him over to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

The act approved by Congress also requires the State Department to report on human rights and on the use of aid since a 2010 earthquake devastated the country.

“We are greatly concerned that a Haitian government that is both unstable and corrupt will allow or enable additional human rights abuses,” said Senator Ben Cardin, a sponsor of the act.

The act also calls for an investigation and push for accountability over the massacre in the La Saline slum of Port-au-Prince in 2018 in which dozens of people died.

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