U.S. Embassy in Haiti tells Americans to leave ‘as soon as possible’


The U.S. Embassy in Haiti said Americans there should leave the country “as soon as possible” amid the ongoing unrest and political turmoil.

“Given the current security situation and infrastructure challenges, U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible via commercial or private transport,” the embassy said Wednesday in an advisory.

In the meantime, it said, Americans there should “use extreme caution in traveling around the country” and “avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people.”

“If you encounter a roadblock, turn around and get to a safe area,” the embassy added.

The United States last month evacuated non-emergency government personnel and the family members of diplomats from the embassy in Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital and most populous city. That announcement came after Haitians flocked to the area outside the U.S. Embassy, seeking protection from heavy gunfire in the vicinity of the compound.

Visual timeline: The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse

Haiti has been overwhelmed by gang violence after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021. Armed gangs have since taken power in up to 90 percent of Port-au-Prince, The Washington Post has reported, with widespread killings, rapes and displacement of civilians as they vie for control of territory and resources.

In October last year, Moïse’s replacement, Prime Minister Ariel Henry, called for an armed multinational force to quell the crisis. But that call has largely gone unanswered. The United States has deferred to Canada to lead such a force, though Ottawa has also been reluctant. Civilians in Haiti have since organized armed vigilante groups to combat the gangs.

Kenya said last month it would “positively consider” leading a multinational force aimed at returning control to Haitian authorities.

In its warning Wednesday for U.S. citizens to leave, the embassy noted that seats on flights fill up quickly and “may only be available several days or even weeks in advance of departure.” It said American Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit are among the airlines servicing Haiti, as well as domestic carrier Sunrise Airways.

Flight availability this week was extremely limited; a ticket on American Airlines for Sept. 6 to Miami was selling for almost $2,000.

Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.


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