Photo: File / VALERIE BAERISWYL / AFP / Getty Images
About 17 Christian missionaries from the United States and their families, including children, were kidnapped Saturday by a gang in Prince Port, the capital of Haiti, when leaving an orphanage, according to reports from Haitian security officials, cited by The New York Times.
The details of the kidnapping are not known, but local authorities said the missionaries were kidnapped from a bus that was heading to the airport to drop off some members of the group. before continuing to another destination in Haiti.
The kidnapping of American missionaries It happened just one day after the United Nations Security Council extended its mission in Haiti for nine months in a unanimous vote on Friday.
Many Haitians have been asking the United States to send troops to stabilize the situation, but the Biden administration has been reluctant to commit to the boots on the ground.
A State Department spokesperson did not comment to The New York Times about the kidnappings in Haiti on Saturday night.
Security has collapsed in Haiti after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
The nation’s political turmoil intensified further after Mr. Moïse was assassinated at his home in July, a murder that remains unsolved. The few remaining officials in the country soon began fighting for control of the government, and factionalism has continued for months, with officials accusing each other of participating in the conspiracy to assassinate the president.
Since then, the gangs have become more assertive. They operate at will, kidnapping children on their way to school and pastors in the middle of delivering their services.