LatinNews Daily - 7 August 2023

US backs plans for multinational force in Haiti amid rising violence

Haiti: On 1 August the US State Department issued a statement commending the government of Kenya for considering serving as the lead nation for a multinational force in Haiti to assist in addressing insecurity caused by gang violence. The US stated it looked forward to working with partners of Haiti to advance this process, including through a United Nations Security Council Resolution authorising a multinational force to Haiti. This comes as, on 27 July, the US embassy in Haiti called on non-emergency US government personnel to leave Haiti immediately due to “the current security situation and infrastructure challenges”. The US embassy in Haiti issued a statement urging US citizens to “depart Haiti as soon as possible by commercial or other privately available transportation options”. This advice comes amid a high risk of “violent crime, often involving the use of firearms, such as armed robbery, carjackings, and kidnappings for ransom”. Victims of this violence, particularly kidnappings, “regularly include US citizens”. The embassy also notes that “the US government is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Haiti”. The US State Department has raised its travel alert for Haiti to level 4, the highest category, which advises against all travel to the country. The US embassy has also restricted the movements of its personnel to the embassy compound until further notice. Haiti continues to face a multifaceted humanitarian, economic, security and political crisis, which has intensified since the July 2021 assassination of president Jovenel Moïse (2017-2021).

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