Americans Urged to Exit Haiti Immediately

Americans Urged to Exit Haiti Immediately

In response to an unprecedented surge in gang violence in Haiti, the U.S. State Department has issued an urgent advisory urging American citizens to evacuate the country.

The situation in Haiti has rapidly deteriorated, with coordinated attacks targeting government institutions, prisons, police stations, and even the international airport. The country is currently paralyzed, leading the Haitian government to declare a state of emergency.

This advisory, prominently displayed on the U.S. Embassy in Haiti’s website, underscores the critical need for American citizens to monitor local news and security conditions. The emphasis is on making arrangements to depart as soon as both commercial transportation options and security conditions permit.

However, the evacuation process faces substantial challenges. Haiti’s airport is temporarily closed and rendered inoperable due to an attempted seizure by gangs.

Land crossings into the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s neighboring country, are nearly impossible due to the dominance of gangs along the routes from Port-au-Prince. Additionally, there are no widely used ports for passenger travel by sea, leaving the means of evacuating American citizens unclear.

Remarkably, this marks the second time within days that the U.S. Embassy in Haiti has issued a notice for Americans to leave, highlighting the urgency of the situation and the escalating security concerns in the region.

Americans Urged to Exit Haiti Immediately

In response to the intensifying violence, the Haitian government declared a 72-hour state of emergency and imposed a nighttime curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. These measures are aimed at restoring order and regaining control amidst increasingly violent criminal acts, including kidnappings, assassinations, and widespread displacements of the population.

The catalyst for the state of emergency was a series of attacks on Haiti’s largest prisons, resulting in the liberation of thousands of inmates. The government attributes these attacks to heavily armed criminals seeking to free individuals in custody, particularly those charged with serious offenses such as kidnapping and murder. Despite efforts, the exact number of escapees remains unknown.

Gangs also attempted to seize control of Toussaint Louverture International Airport on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. The assailants, estimated to be several dozen heavily armed individuals, breached the perimeter but were engaged in gunfire with Haitian police and soldiers. Although casualties occurred on both sides, the attackers were ultimately thwarted, preventing the takeover of the airport.

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Amid this escalating crisis, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince has announced “limited operations” on its premises. Additionally, all appointments for services through March 12 have been canceled, underscoring the severity of the security situation and its impact on diplomatic activities.

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