U.S. Religious Group Says 17 Missionaries Kidnapped In Haiti

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A bunch of 17 U.S. missionaries together with kids was kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, in accordance with a voice message despatched to numerous spiritual missions by a company with direct information of the incident.

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The missionaries had been on their approach home from constructing an orphanage, in accordance with a message from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries.

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“This is a special prayer alert,” the one-minute message stated. “Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”

The message says the mission’s subject director is working with the U.S. Embassy, and that the sphere director’s household and one different unidentified man stayed on the ministry’s base whereas everybody else visited the orphanage.

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No different particulars had been instantly obtainable.

A U.S. authorities spokesperson stated they had been conscious of the stories on the kidnapping.

“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson stated, declining additional remark.

A bird's eye view of downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
A chicken’s eye view of downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

by way of Associated Press

Haiti is as soon as once more fighting a spike in gang-related kidnappings that had diminished after President Jovenel Moïse was fatally shot at his non-public residence on July 7, and following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck southwest Haiti in August and killed greater than 2,200 folks.

Gangs have demanded ransoms starting from a pair hundred {dollars} to greater than $1 million, in accordance with authorities.

Last month, a deacon was killed in entrance of a church within the capital of Port-au-Prince and his spouse kidnapped, one in every of dozens of people that have been kidnapped in current months.

At least 328 kidnapping victims had been reported to Haiti’s National Police within the first eight months of 2021, in contrast with a complete of 234 for all of 2020, in accordance with a report issued final month by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti generally known as BINUH.

Gangs have been accused of kidnapping schoolchildren, medical doctors, cops, busloads of passengers and others as they develop extra highly effective. In April, one gang kidnapped 5 monks and two nuns, a move that prompted a protest much like the one organized for this Monday to decry the shortage of safety within the impoverished nation.

“Political turmoil, the surge in gang violence, deteriorating socioeconomic conditions – including food insecurity and malnutrition – all contribute to the worsening of the humanitarian situation,” BINUH stated in its report. “An overstretched and under-resourced police force alone cannot address the security ills of Haiti.”

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to increase the U.N. political mission in Haiti.

The kidnapping of the missionaries comes simply days after high-level U.S. officers visited Haiti and promised extra sources for Haiti’s National Police, together with one other $15 million to assist cut back gang violence, which this 12 months has displaced 1000’s of Haitians who now reside in non permanent shelters in more and more unhygienic situations.

Among those that met with Haiti’s police chief was Uzra Zeya, U.S. beneath secretary of state for civilian safety, democracy, and human rights.

“Dismantling violent gangs is vital to Haitian stability and citizen security,” she just lately tweeted.

AP reporter Evens Sanon in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, contributed to this report.


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