At least 17 American missionaries are being held hostage in Haiti, according to reports. The Associated PressAccording to reports, a notorious gang is behind the kidnapping of mostly Americans on Saturday.
According to reports, the missionaries were abducted after visiting an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. Five children, including a 2-year old, were believed to have been among those kidnapped.
Christian Aid Ministries, an Ohio-based organization, issued a statement on Sunday.
“Join us in praying for those who are being held hostage, the kidnappers and the families, friends and churches of those affected. As an organization, we commit this situation to God and trust him to see us through.”
An investigation is ongoing, according to a source in Haiti’s security forces, they attributed the kidnapping to the 400 Mawozo gang. A notorious local Haitian gang known to commit brazen kidnappings, and even killings.
The gang, whose name roughly translates to 400 “inexperienced men,” controls the Croix-des-Bouquets area that includes Ganthier, where they carry out kidnappings, carjackings and extort business owners.
At least 328 kidnappings were reported to Haiti’s National Police in the first eight months of 2021, compared with a total of 234 for all of 2020, according to a report issued last month by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti known as BINUH.
Haiti is struggling to contain an increase in kidnappings by gangs. President Jovenel Moïse was fatally shotAt his private residence on July 7, 2007. Haiti was then struck by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. killed more than 2,200August is a busy month for people.
Haitian Foreign Minister Claude Joseph urged the UNSC earlier this month to bolster the UN mission’s mandate in order to help ensure security and protection for civilians, according to a UN news release.
The U.S. State Department confirmed that they were aware of the reports. Canadian officials are also working closely with local authorities in order to return the hostages.