US Initiates Emergency Evacuation of Citizens Stranded in Haiti Amidst Escalating Violence
US Initiates Emergency Evacuation of Citizens Stranded in Haiti Amidst Escalating Violence

United States to Evacuate Citizens Stranded in Haiti Amidst Ongoing Violence - In response to the escalating gang violence gripping Haiti, the United States has announced plans for a special evacuation mission to airlift its citizens out of the troubled Caribbean nation. The decision comes after weeks of unrest that have rendered Haiti's main airport in the capital, Port-au-Prince, inoperable.

The US embassy in Haiti disclosed that a charter flight is being organized to evacuate American nationals from Cap-Haitien, the country's second-largest city. However, the embassy cautioned that the flight's schedule hinges on the security situation in Cap-Haitien remaining stable. While the airport in Cap-Haitien is intermittently open for outgoing flights, the embassy did not specify a departure date for the evacuation operation.

The embassy's security alert also underscored the perilous nature of traveling overland from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien, spanning approximately 120 miles (200 kilometers). It urged US citizens to consider the charter flight only if they can safely reach Cap-Haitien airport, citing the dangerous conditions along the route.

The US had previously evacuated non-essential personnel from its embassy in Port-au-Prince and bolstered security measures in response to the mounting unrest. Several other nations, along with the European Union, have also evacuated diplomatic staff from Haiti, while the United Nations announced plans to evacuate non-essential personnel.

Meanwhile, Haiti has been rocked by a wave of gang violence aimed at ousting Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who assumed office amidst controversy. In a bid to address the crisis, Henry has agreed to step aside following an emergency meeting attended by key stakeholders, including representatives from the US, UN, and Caribbean nations. The meeting resulted in a framework for establishing a Transitional Presidential Council to govern Haiti until new elections can be organized.

Prior to the evacuation announcement, Haitian authorities launched a crackdown on criminal elements in Port-au-Prince, clearing roadblocks and seizing firearms in a neighborhood controlled by notorious gang leader Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier. The operation reportedly resulted in the deaths of several armed criminals.

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