Port-au-Prince, HAITI- The turmoil and violence continues in Haiti after 17 missionaries were kidnapped after a visit from an orphanage on Saturday.
This incident was certified after a voice message that was sent by an organization that was directly in contact with the incident. The voice message was further forwarded to various religious organizations.
The message added that the field director of the mission is operating with the U.S. Embassy and that the field director’s family and another unidentified man remained at the mission base while all the others visiting the orphanage were abducted.
According to a message by the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, requested “urgent prayer” for the seven (7) women, five (5) men, and children who were abducted Saturday. The group included sixteen (16) U.S. citizens and one (1) Canadian citizen, the organization said in a statement on its website Sunday.
“We are seeking God’s direction for a resolution, and authorities are seeking ways to help,” the organization said. “Join us in praying for those who are being held hostage, the kidnappers, and the families, friends, and churches of those affected.”
The report said that the group left an orphanage and drove to the airport to drop off some of its members who were on their way back home.
A notorious Haitian gang known for brazen kidnappings and killings in Port-au-Prince and its bordering Country Dominica Republic was accused by police Sunday for the group of missionaries who had been kidnapped. Earlier this year the said gang was also accused of kidnapping five (5) priests and two (2)nuns.
A US government spokesman said they were conscious of the reports of the kidnapping.
While rejecting to make further statements spokesperson said, “The well-being and security of U.S. citizens abroad are one of the top priorities of the State Department.”
According to an annual report, the missionary group offers Bible classes, runs a medical clinic, helps orphans, and distributes seeds to farmers, among other efforts in Haiti. The report for last year said that American staff had returned to their base in Haiti after a nine-month absence “due to political unrest” and noted the “uncertainty and difficulties” that arise from such instability.
In 2005 former FBI agent crisis management expert Richard Franco was involved in negotiating money for the release of a U.S. missionary from Haiti.
Haiti is again battling increasing activities in gang-linked kidnappings which are reported to increase after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise at his residence on July 7. The situation got even more serious as the magnitude 7.2 earthquake trembled southwestern Haiti, and more than 2,200 people were killed.