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FILE PHOTO: Street vendors carry goods for sale as they walk near the Presidential Palace after Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry pledged to step down following months of escalating gang violence, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 12, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol/File Photo

US evacuates citizens from Haiti

The US Embassy in Haiti evacuated more than 30 US citizens who were still in the country on Sunday, as unchecked violence shuttered all but one hospital in the capital.

A chartered flight left from the northern city of Cap-Haitien, where the airport has been occasionally functional. The State Department said it would continue chartering flights as long as it could do so safely. The airport in Port-au-Prince has been closed since gangs attacked it on March 4 to prevent the return of now-outgoing Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

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Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry speaks while addressing the nation, at an unidentified location on a date given as March 11, 2024, in this screengrab obtained from a handout video.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti via X/Handout via REUTERS

Haiti’s embattled prime minister resigns amid chaos

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his resignation overnight amid mounting international pressure for him to step down. The move follows weeks of civil unrest and violence by rival gangs in the Caribbean country.

Henry said he would turn over power to a transitional council made up of political leaders, the private sector, civil society, and a religious representative. The handover marks the end of Henry’s unelected term as Haiti’s acting president, a post he has held since President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in 2021.

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A woman with a gunshot wound is transported by two men on a motorcycle as Haiti remains in state of emergency due to the violence, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 9, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Enrol

Haitian Interior Ministry torched in weekend violence

Regional leaders are meeting Monday in Jamaica to discuss Haiti’s political crisis after intense violence in Port-au-Prince saw gangs burn down the country’s Interior Ministry this weekend. They also attacked police stations near the National Palace in offensives that have paralyzed the country. The US Embassy has evacuated non-essential staff.

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A police officer patrols near the police headquarters as Haiti continues in a state of emergency, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 6, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Haiti’s gangs threaten civil war

Prime Minister Ariel Henry is refusing calls to resign and remains stranded outside Haiti while the leader of the country’s largest gang alliance, Jimmy Chérizier, threatens civil war.

Henry visited Nairobi last week in an attempt to secure a Kenyan-led intervention force to help bring peace to Haiti. But heavily armed gangs took advantage of his absence and launched assaults against Haiti’s two largest prisons and the international airport in Port-au-Prince, paralyzing the country. Henry has since tried but failed to return to Haiti.

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Lawyers sit in court as Kenya High Court Judge Chacha Mwita delivers his ruling, terming the Kenya government's intention to deploy police officers to lead a U.N. approved mission to Haiti as unconstitutional, at the Milimani law courts in Nairobi, Kenya January 26, 2024.

REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Kenyan court halts Haiti deployment

On Sunday, the US reiterated its support for a Kenyan-led police deployment to Haiti despite Nairobi’s High Court ruling on Friday that the government could not deploy it. The long-awaited decision casts severe doubt on the prospects for stabilization in the Caribbean country.

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