Last week, the U.S. State Department urged all U.S. citizens in Haiti to leave the country on commercial flights due to deepening insecurity, a severe fuel shortage and violence. On October 16, 17 members of an Ohio-based missionary group—including five children— were kidnapped, along with their Haitian driver.
A state department travel advisory reported kidnapping as widespread with U.S. citizens targeted. Armed robbery and carjackings are also commonplace according to the report with travelers sometimes followed, violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport.
Robbers and carjackers also attack private vehicles stuck in heavy traffic congestion and often target lone drivers, particularly women.
Protests, demonstrations, tire burning, and roadblocks are frequent, unpredictable, and can turn violent with the U.S. government extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Haiti and local police lacking in the resources necessary to effectively respond to serious criminal incidents.
And if that wasn’t enough, the CDC has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Haiti, indicating a very high level of COVID 19 in the country.
Haiti is not the only country, the State Department is advising U.S. citizens to leave.
As the security environment in Ethiopia remains very fluid, the U.S. Embassy is also urging U.S citizens in Ethiopia to leave the country using commercially available options. The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Ethiopia with departure if commercial options become unavailable.
Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on November 2 due to the ongoing Tigrayan conflict and fears that fighting could reach Addis Ababa.
Repatriation loans are available from the U.S. Embassy for American citizens who cannot afford to purchase a commercial ticket to the United States.
State Department officials are warning Americans that they should not expect a Kabul-style airlift and that if fighting reaches the capital city, commercial carriers may not be able to get out leaving them trapped in a war zone.
Those U.S. citizens still in the country are advised to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program which connects them with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate and makes it possible for them to be contacted in the event of an emerge