Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Haïti : France is planning special flights to evacuate its nationals

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Police officers battling gangs near the presidential palace, March 21, 2024, in Port-au-Prince.

Agence France-Presse

France organized special flights on Sunday to allow its “most vulnerable” nationals to leave Haiti, whose capital is in prey to gang violence.

Flights of aircraft chartered by the Ministry of the Armed Forces are due to begin this Sunday, said the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while commercial air links with Port-au-Prince are interrupted.

The French embassy in Port-au-Prince remains open and continues its activity despite the degraded conditions, the ministry also specified in a statement sent to AFP.

It remains fully mobilized in support of the French community there, he adds.

Some 1,100 French people, including a large number of dual nationals, live in Haiti, according to figures from the Quai d'Orsay.

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Nationals are invited to report to the French embassy in Port-au-Prince if they have not already done so, indicates the ministry, which did not yet have a x27;estimate on Sunday of the number of people potentially affected.

Haiti, already the victim of a very serious political and security crisis, is prey to a resurgence of violence since the beginning of March, when several gangs joined forces to attack strategic locations in Port-au-Prince, saying they wanted to overthrow Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

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A woman carrying a child flees after gunshots ring out in Port-au-Prince, in Haiti, March 20, 2024.

Mr. Henry agreed to resign on March 11, and since then negotiations have been underway to form transitional authorities.

In the meantime, the Armed gangs are intensifying their attacks in the capital, of which they already control some 80%.

On its website, Global Affairs Canada recommends leaving Haiti by commercial means if it is possible to do so safely.

The ministry also indicates that its embassy in Port-au-Prince is temporarily closed to the public due to the unpredictable security situation. Consular services are provided remotely.

Nearly 3,000 Canadian nationals are still stuck in Haiti, including Canadian-Haitians who left for this country for x27;winter.

Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller on Wednesday described the difficulties in getting Canadian nationals out of ;Haiti due to the fact that the [Port-au-Prince] airport is closed and the exit route with the Dominican Republic is closed.

With information from Radio-Canada

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