U.S. Military Evacuates Haitian Embassy Amid Violent Gang Attacks on Police Stations

When reading the latest news from Haiti, the phrase “hell is a handbasket”, comes to mind. Gangs attacked police stations, and government buildings, Prime Minister Ariel Henry is unable to return home, and Haiti has fallen into chaos. The U.S. Military evacuated its staff from the Port-au-Prince embassy due to the worsening of the situation.

The U.S. Military conducted an overnight operation to evacuate staff at the Embassy in Haiti and increase security. This is another sign that the situation in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, has deteriorated.

U.S. Southern Command issued a statement early on Sunday confirming that the military had airlifted U.S. staff into and out of the embassy, at the request of the U.S. State Department. According to a statement, the mission was to “allow our embassy mission operations to continue and allow non-essential staff to depart.” The aircraft was not carrying any Haitians.

The latest unrest follows several weeks of violence, in which gangs have attacked and taken over multiple locations.

Heavy-armed gangs attempted to take control of Haiti’s international airport Monday. They exchanged gunfire with soldiers and police in the latest attack against key government sites. The violence has been a massive explosion, which includes mass escapes from Haiti’s two largest prisons.

When the attack took place, there were no passengers or planes at Toussaint-Louverture International Airport.

Associated Press journalists witnessed an armored vehicle on the tarmac firing at gangs to prevent them from entering the airport grounds as employees and other workers flee from whizzing shots.

As mentioned above, Prime Minister Henry is currently out of the country. He has been refused entry to the Dominican Republic due to safety concerns.

The Kenyan prime minister was in Kenya to press for a U.N.-backed deployment to Haiti of a Kenyan police force to combat gangs. In January, a Kenyan court ruled that such a move would be unconstitutional.

Henry is unable to go home despite calls for him to resign and form a transitional government. He was forced to fly into Puerto Rico after being unable to land in the Dominican Republic which borders Haiti. The Dominican government claimed he did not have a flight plan, and closed the airspace between their country and Haiti.

The office of Dominican President Luis Abinader stated on Saturday, “Henry is not welcome in the Dominican Republic for safety reasons.” The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, has closed its land border.

According to a statement by the U.S. Southern Command:

Our Embassy is focused on supporting the U.S. Government’s efforts to assist the Haitian People, including mobilizing support for the Haitian National Police and expediting the deployment of the Multinational Security Support mission authorized by the United Nations. We are also accelerating the peaceful transition of power through free and fair elections.