Diaspora

US urges citizens to leave Haiti amid fuel shortages and hostage situation – Washington Examiner

The U.S. government is asking its citizens in Haiti to return home as the country grapples with increasing turmoil, including a situation in which U.S. citizens have been held hostage for several weeks.
Haiti is dealing with a severe fuel shortage caused by gangs who have been blocking fuel distribution terminals for several weeks, according to the Associated Press, and officials are working to rescue 17 missionaries, 16 of whom are Americans, who were kidnapped by Haitian gangs last month.
“Widespread fuel shortages may limit essential services in an emergency, including access to banks, money transfers, urgent medical care, internet and telecommunications, and public and private transportation options,” the State Department warned. “The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Haiti with departure if commercial options become unavailable.”
RELATIVES OF US HOSTAGES ASK BIDEN TO MAKE GOOD ON PROMISES TO BRING FAMILY MEMBERS HOME
Haitian government officials acknowledged the fuel shortage Tuesday during a news conference, saying they are working to resolve the issue. No details were provided on how the issue would be fixed, AP reported.
The 17 missionaries held hostage in Haiti were kidnapped on Oct. 16, with a ransom for their rescue at $17 million. Five of the hostages are reportedly minors, and one is a Canadian. Joseph Wilson, the leader of the 400 Mawozo gang that kidnapped the missionaries, threatened on Oct. 21 to kill the hostages if he was not paid.
Christian Aid Ministries, the organization the missionaries are from, told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday the hostages continue to wait for their rescue.
“We request continued prayer for the kidnappers, that God would soften their hearts and that they would experience His love and goodness,” the organization said.
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The Mawozo gang is known for targeting religious groups and has been blamed for 80% of abductions in Haiti from June through September. In April, the gang kidnapped five priests and two nuns, with Catholic universities and schools closing in protest.

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