US nurse and child kidnapped, says charity

Man carrying his belongings outside the US embassy

The US government has ordered all non-emergency staff to leave the island

An American nurse and her child have been kidnapped in Haiti, according to a Christian aid charity she worked for.

Alix Dorsainvil was working in a community ministry near Port-au-Prince when she was taken, El Roi Haiti said in a statement.

The US State Department is aware of reports and is in “regular contact” with Haitian authorities.

Officials in Haiti have appealed to the international community to help break the grip of armed gangs on the country.

Ms Dorsainvil is understood to be the wife of El Roi Haiti’s director and founder, Sandro Dorsainvil.

The age and gender of the child is not known.

“Alix is a deeply compassionate and loving person who considers Haiti her home and the Haitian people her friends and family,” the statement from El Roi Haiti added.

The charity also said it was working to secure the pair’s safe return.

The organisation has asked people to “refrain from speculating on social media about this situation in order to protect Alix and her child during this time”.

The incident comes days after the US issued a level-four “do not travel” advisory because of kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and ‘poor health care infrastructure’ on the island.

The US State Department ordered all non-emergency government personnel and their family members to leave Haiti.

Project Dynamo, a US veteran-led non-profit that evacuates American civilians from risky situations abroad, has said it will go to Haiti to evacuate Americans.

The poorest country in the Americas has been in political crisis since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021.

Gangs control around 80 percent of the capital, and violent crimes such as kidnappings and armed robbery are common.

Earlier this month, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called for the creation of a multinational force for Haiti.

Kenya has offered to take the lead, by offering 1,000 police officers to help train local law enforcement.

Any mission will be subject to a mandate from the UN Security Council, and formal authorisation from the Kenyan authorities.

Kenya’s Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua said any potential multinational force’s job would be to stabilise the situation on the ground and empower local authorities, as the people of Haiti have “suffered enough”.

Speaking to the BBC’s Newshour programme on Sunday, he added Kenya’s main aim would be to train Haitian police to help reduce violence and allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians being “held hostage by gangs”.

“We have decided to lead this process because we don’t want to wait for others,” Mr Mutua said.

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