Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 11, 2022

Newsline: Haiti diplomat urges U.S., Canada to lead anti-gang strike force

The United States and Canada should take the lead in forming a strike force to confront Haitian gangs that have created a humanitarian crisis by blocking access to a key fuel terminal, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States said. “We wish to see our neighbors like the United States, like Canada, take the lead and move fast,” said Bocchit Edmond in a telephone interview, in reference to providing security assistance. “There is a really big threat over the head of the prime minister. If nothing is done quickly, there is a risk of another head of state (being) killed in Haiti,” he said, referring to the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise. (https://news.yahoo.com/haiti-wants-u-canada-lead-224654642.html) Prime Minister Ariel Henry last week asked the international community to provide a “specialized armed force” to control gangs that have been blocking the Varreux fuel terminal since last month. Sporadic looting and gun battles between gangs and police have become increasingly common in Haiti in recent weeks as the shortages have led to mounting frustration and desperation. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has proposed “a rapid action force” to help Haiti’s police confront the gangs, without saying that the United Nations itself should lead such a force. No countries have yet stepped forward to offer personnel.

Newsline: Kazakhstan evacuates embassy in Ukraine

The Government of Kazakhstan said Tuesday that it had begun evacuating workers from its embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kiev facing increased shelling by Russian forces. Aibek Smadiyarov, spokesman for the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, pointed out that “the problem is not to close or not to close the Embassy but to evacuate the workers”. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/kazakhstan-evacuates-its-embassy-in-ukraine-amid-increased-shelling-by-russia/) “As you can see, yesterday the Embassy issued a number of alerts and messages to help in some way. During the first evacuation many people left, so right now we don’t know the exact number of people,” he said. However, he has indicated that the matter “will be resolved in the coming days”. “The evacuation will be completed by then,” he said, according to information reported by the TengriNews portal. He has also indicated that the authorities are trying to clarify the number of Kazakh residents currently working in the country.

Newsline: U.S. Embassy not planning evacuation from Kyiv

U.S Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink said that the staff of the diplomatic mission was not injured as a result of Russian missile attacks on Kyiv. “Our team at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is safe,” the diplomat wrote on Twitter. “Grateful to those responding and working to keep us safe, and heartbroken for those hurt, here and across Ukraine.” “The embassy is open and we continue to work, we are here to support Ukraine.” (https://news.yahoo.com/u-embassy-not-planning-evacuation-151400219.html) At the same time, the Embassy did call on U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine. “The Embassy urges U.S. citizens to shelter in place and depart Ukraine now using privately available ground transportation options when it is safe to do so” the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said in a statement emailed to U.S. citizens.