US Again Urges Americans to Leave Haiti as Gang Violence Worsens.

he US Embassy in Haiti on Wednesday called on American citizens in Haiti to leave the country “as soon as possible” as growing gang violence has sparked a security crisis for the small island nation.

“Given the current security situation and infrastructure challenges, U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible via commercial or private transport,” embassy in Port-au-Prince said in a security alert.

The message reiterates a State Department directive issued in late July for American citizens to leave the country.

Wednesday’s alert comes four days after a gang opened fire on a large group of parishioners just outside the capital city, as hundreds of people marched with machetes in a community-led attempt to drive out gang members.

Police Chief Frantz Elbé said Monday “multiple” people were killed in the attack, although he did not offer a specific number.

The violence was only the latest as gangs have quickly expanded their power since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. The groups now control more than 80% of Port-au-Prince, and frequently use sexual violence to spread fear and terror.

More than 950 people were also kidnapped, including an American nurse and her child, who were released earlier this month after they disappeared for nearly two weeks.

In September, Haiti’s government called for an international intervention to tackle the country’s gang violence.

But no country answered that call until last month when Kenya offered to lead a security force and send 1,000 police members. The U.S. then said it would present a U.N. Security Council resolution to back the effort.