A US embassy convoy was attacked in Haiti on Monday, according to a senior US official and a State Department spokesman.
A Haitian driver was slightly injured but no embassy staff were hurt, the official said.
“Armed individuals fired on Haitian National Police vehicles, US Embassy vehicles and Haitian commercial vehicles this morning,” the State Department spokesman said.
“No embassy staff were injured,” they said. “A Haitian commercial driver accompanying the convoy was injured with non-life threatening injuries.”
“We do not have any additional information at this time,” the spokesman said.
A security source in Haiti, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak, confirmed that a US embassy convoy was attacked by the 400 Mawozo gang on Monday.
The attack is the latest incident in a country overrun by violent gangs and comes a year after the nation’s president, Jovenel Moise, was assassinated. Port-au-Prince was the site of brutal gang battles this summer that saw entire neighborhoods torched, displacing thousands of families and trapping others in their homes, afraid to leave even in search of food and water.
Late last month, a Haitian politician, Eric Jean Baptiste, was shot and killed outside his home, and the number of Haitians displaced by recent gang-related violence in the capital has tripled in the past five months , said the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM). last month.
The IOM report said more than 113,000 people were internally displaced from Port-au-Prince between June and August this year, with nearly 90,000 due to “urban violence linked to gang conflicts, police and social”.
Criminals still control or influence parts of the country’s most populous city, and kidnappings for ransom threaten residents’ daily movements. In recent weeks, protesters in several cities have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in the face of high fuel prices, rising inflation and rampant crime.
Last month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned what he called an “absolutely nightmarish situation” in Haiti with gangs blocking the movement of fuel and other materials at the port of Port-au-Prince. The country is facing a humanitarian crisis, while a cholera outbreak has also left dozens dead.
Guterres has urged the international community to consider deploying forces to the country to address the growing humanitarian and security crises in the country.
Biden administration officials are working with “capitals around the world to discuss the potential for a UN Security Council-endorsed mission under Chapter VII,” the spokesman said last week State Department, Ned Price, but the composition of this mission is still unclear.
“The status quo remains unsustainable. It remains unsustainable for the Haitian people. We hope to see continued improvement in the humanitarian situation. The actions of the Haitian National Police may lead to further improvements. But long-term challenges remain that a enabling force authorized by the UN Security Council could help address,” Price said.