WASHINGTON – The United States Department of State authorized on Monday the voluntary evacuation of all non-emergency government employees stationed in Haiti and their families due to widespread protests in the country.
The US government’s advisory comes after protests erupted in Haiti on Friday after the government decided to hike fuel prices by 37-50 percent, a decision which has since been reversed, but which has failed to quell the protests.
“The US government authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and their families. Right now, the US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens,” the state department said in a travel advisory.
Washington also banned embassy employees from using ATMs, public transport and leaving embassy premises between 1:00 am and 5:00 am, as well as imposing a curfew at night and prohibiting them from visiting establishments without secure parking.
“There is currently widespread civil unrest and violent demonstrations in Haiti. Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable,” Washington said.
“Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents or emergencies,” the advisory added.