US Warns Citizens Should Leave Haiti Due to Upticks in Violence

( – Amid escalating safety concerns in Haiti, the State Department has intensified its prior warnings, now urging all US citizens to leave the country ASAP. Because of how dangerous the country becomes every day, the Department emphasized the urgency for American citizens to leave pretty much by any means possible, whether it’s by commercial or private means of transportation.

The situation in Haiti, particularly its capital, has been severely deteriorating in recent months. The US Embassy’s temporary closure earlier this month amid rampant gang violence and street gunfire highlights just how dangerous the situation is. The safety crisis was further underscored when an American nurse and her daughter got abducted by a gang in late July. They were later released after a ransom payment.

The State Department has also cautioned that flight availability out of Haiti will diminish rapidly, requiring travelers to book flights days or even weeks ahead. Reduced flight options and skyrocketing ticket prices, exceeding $2,000 for one-way economy class tickets, pose additional challenges for those seeking to leave Port-au-Prince and get to safety.

The State Department initially issued a “do not travel” advisory for Haiti in July, citing the risk of kidnappings. It also directed non-embassy personnel to leave the country.

Earlier this year, the UN Security Council received a report by the United Nations’ senior representative in Port-au-Prince, stating that levels of gang-related violence in Haiti reached unprecedented heights. It has surged by almost 30% in the first quarter of 2023.

The surge in gang activities followed the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 and have only escalated since then. These circumstances forced approximately 165,000 Haitians to flee their homes. Many are seeking refuge in temporary shelters.

In collaboration with the United Nations, the US is supporting a proposal for a multinational police force led by Kenya to address the issue of gang violence in Haiti. The proposed force would concentrate its efforts primarily in Port-au-Prince.

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