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 injured, the official said.
“Gunmen fired on Haitian National Police vehicles, US Embassy vehicles and Haitian commercial vehicles this morning,” the State Department spokesman said.
“No embassy personnel 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 requested 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 assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moise. Port-au-Prince has been the site of brutal gang battles this summer that have seen entire neighborhoods torched, displacing thousands of families and trapping others in their homes, afraid to leave even for food and water.
Late last month, a Haitian politician, Eric Jean Baptiste, was shot dead outside his home and the number of Haitians displaced by recent gang violence in the capital has tripled in the past five months, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). ) of the United Nations. 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 of them due to “urban violence linked to gang, police and social gang conflicts.”
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, United Nations 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 urged the international community to consider deploying forces in 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 Chapter VII mission,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said last week, but the composition of this mission is not yet clear.
“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 there remain long-term challenges that an authorized enabling force by the UN Security Council could help address,” Price said.