American Personnel Evacuated From Embassy in Haiti

American Personnel Evacuated From Embassy in Haiti

( – Haiti has remained in a state of upheaval since the assassination of its President Jovenel Mo├»se in July 2021. Violence in the island nation has continued to increase. Mere weeks ago, gangs released thousands of prisoners from two penitentiaries in another shocking example of unrestrained violence, prompting government officials to declare a state of emergency. Now, the US has decided to remove its non-essential personnel from the country.

Over the weekend of March 9 and 10, the US military airlifted personnel from the embassy, citing “heightened gang violence in the neighborhood near US embassy compounds and near the airport,” per the US Embassy in Haiti. Airlifting personnel out of compromised embassies has become standard protocol, especially when enhanced security becomes necessary, according to US Southern Command. The embassy remains open with essential personnel still on staff.

The US wasn’t the only country to pull representatives from the island. Germany also pulled its ambassador and permanent representative, sending them to the Dominican Republic to work remotely until the situation has settled down. The European Union’s delegation also departed to the Dominican Republic, awaiting a calmer situation in Haiti.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry is working with several other countries to build a multinational police force to quell the violence in his country. It was during his recent trip to Kenya to get this mission underway that gangs launched attacks, freeing nearly 4,000 prisoners. They’ve also recently tried to seize Toussaint Louverture International Airport. On Monday, dozens of armed gang members breached the wall and exchanged gunfire with police, killing at least one Haitian officer. The airport is currently not permitting flights to land.

Henry has yet to return to Haiti and is currently in Puerto Rico. Several high-ranking officials from the US, France, Brazil, Canada, and the UN met recently to discuss the country’s ongoing situation. For now, it remains precarious, and the State Department may decide to update its posture in the country at any time.

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