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General strike after 15 US missionaries and family have been kidnapped General strike after 15 US missionaries and family have been kidnapped  (AFP or licensors)

Haitians strike to protest insecurity as search for kidnapped continues

The United States Government has dispatched a joint FBI-State Department taskforce to Haiti to work with their Police to resolve the kidnapping of seventeen missionaries who were abducted at gunpoint by a gang.

By James Blears

On Monday a General Strike in Haiti, with streets barricaded and car tires set alight with acrid smoke billowing high into a deep blue sky.  A sign of sheer desperation from a  people, who are wary of being victims of murder, abduction, robbery, and extortion being terrorized daily by street gangs, who are not being brought to book by a beleaguered law and order system, which can`t cope with the disorder and chaos. 

Ariel Henry the acting Prime Minister and President of Haiti is being kept fully briefed about the ongoing and developing crisis of nineteen people kidnapped, which include sixteen US missionaries, a Canadian citizen, and two Haitian nationals. 

US President Joe Biden has sent a group of State Department and FBI specialists.  It`s understood the FBI team is in negotiations with the 400 Mawoza gang responsible for the kidnappings.  A former Head of the Christian Aid Ministries group in Haiti, says the gang has now made contact.  Sadly and paradoxically the seized missionaries and their families which include five children, one who is a two-year-old toddler, were trying to help an orphanage.  Their mission is to provide clothing, food and education to young Haitians, who are in dire need of these staple lifelines. 

The situation brings into question the safety of all foreign nationals throughout Haiti.  As things stand, their security cannot be guaranteed.  The self-same gang kidnapped priests and nuns in April, demanding a one million dollar ransom. Following negotiations with diplomats, they were released. Now the same thing has happened...all over again. 

Listen to the report by James Blears
19 October 2021, 17:02