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US military evacuates staff from US embassy in Haiti

A crowd lines up on August 21, 2021 to welcome a U.S. military aircraft dropping off aid in Les Anglais for victims of the August 14, 2021 earthquake in Haiti. The remote community in southern Haiti was hard hit by the disaster. (Jacqueline Charles/Miami Herald/TNS)
March 11, 2024

The United States military sent crews over the weekend to conduct an airlift evacuation of non-essential staff from the U.S. embassy in Haiti and provide additional security at the embassy in the face of increased gang violence that is threatening to overrun the Caribbean country.

In a statement obtained by ABC News, U.S. Southern Command said, “At the request of the Department of State, the U.S. military conducted an operation to augment the security of the U.S. Embassy at Port-au-Prince, allow our Embassy mission operations to continue, and enable non-essential personnel to depart.”

According to The Daily Wire, Haiti is currently in danger of collapsing after gangs raided the Port-au-Prince jail and released thousands of criminals. Over the past week, gangs of criminals have launched attacks on multiple police stations and Haiti’s main international airport, blocked humanitarian aid shipments, and raided numerous buildings and ports throughout the country.

ABC News reported that a state of emergency is currently in effect in Haiti as armed conflict between Haitian National Police and gang members remains ongoing. ABC News also reported that Prime Minister Ariel Henry was outside of the country when the gangs started launching attacks and that the prime minister has not yet been able to return to the Caribbean nation.

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“The current security situation in Haiti is unpredictable and dangerous,” the U.S. State Department warned in a statement. “We are aware that there are few or no commercial options to depart Haiti safely at this time. As they become available, we urge U.S. citizens to take advantage of them.”

The State Department also warned that the embassy’s ability to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Haiti is “severely limited.”

Along with its statement regarding the “unpredictable and dangerous” nature of the situation in Haiti, the State Department has warned Americans not to travel to Haiti. Additionally, Americans currently residing in Haiti have been warned to avoid crowds, carry proper identification, be prepared to shelter in place, remain aware of their surroundings, review security plans, and keep a low profile.

While the U.S. embassy in Haiti has evacuated non-essential personnel, U.S. Southern Command told Fox News, “Our Embassy remains focused on advancing U.S. government efforts to support the Haitian people, including mobilizing support for the Haitian National Police, expediting the deployment of the United Nations-authorized Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission, and accelerating a peaceful transition of power via free and fair elections.”

The Daily Wire reported that under President Joe Biden’s administration, the United States has had to evacuate personnel from countries across the globe multiple times, including Afghanistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Sudan, and Haiti.