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US, Canada urge their citizens to leave Haiti as violence rises

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PORT-AU-PRINCE — The United States and Canada have urged their citizens to leave Haiti following days of gun fights between gangs and Haitian law enforcement, an uptick in kidnappings and a worsening fuel shortage.

In a statement issued Nov. 10, the U.S. State Department warned that “The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Haiti with departure if commercial options become unavailable. Seats on commercial flights currently remain available.”

While the Canadian Embassy in Haiti warned: “There are severe shortages of the fuel needed to operate and provide essential services across the country. If you are in Haiti and your presence is not essential, consider leaving if it is safe to do so.”

Activities across Haiti have been halted for several weeks as a result of the ongoing fuel shortage crisis. The majority of gas stations in Port-au-Prince and other departments have been closed. Gangs aligned with the G9 & Family Allies coalition have blocked access to the Varreux Port Terminal, where the majority of the country’s fuel products are stored.

On Nov. 9 armed gangs clashed with law enforcement in the neighborhoods of Martissant at the southern entrance to Port-au-Prince. Residents testified that the clashes began in the early morning and lasted throughout the evening. At least one vehicle belonging to Haitian Armed Forces was set on fire.

A spate of violent incidents last week left at least six people dead, including a 95-year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy, and injured others in downtown Port-au-Prince, Martissant and Croix-des-Bouquets.

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