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Canada’s ambassador will stay in Haiti despite rising violence: Joly – National

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Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Saturday that Canada’s ambassador to Haiti will remain in the country after she was asked whether the embassy will close amid escalating violence.

“We will make sure that our ambassador is in Haiti,” Joly told Global News outside the state funeral for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal.

“It is important for Haitians, it is important for Canadians. It is a message to the world, as well.”


Click to play video: 'Canadian military’s elite counter-terrorism unit deployed to Haiti'


Canadian military’s elite counter-terrorism unit deployed to Haiti


Joly’s comments come a day after Global News reported that members of Canada’s elite special forces unit are at the embassy in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, according to sources.

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Global Affairs Canada (GAC) told Global News Friday that military members are currently working with the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince to assist with “contingency planning,” but did not offer further details.


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Canadian special forces have been deployed to Haiti before, and to countries such as Afghanistan where they helped evacuate embassy staff in 2021.

The U.S. has begun helicopter evacuations of its citizens in Haiti as the country deals with rising gang violence amid a leadership power-vacuum.

According to GAC, there are currently 3,039 Canadians in Haiti registered with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service. It also said their Emergency Watch and Response Centre has responded to 245 enquiries since March 3, mostly in regard to general travel information and the overall security situation.


Click to play video: '‘I think we have to be realistic about our own capacity’: Ambassador on calls for CAF intervention in Haiti'


‘I think we have to be realistic about our own capacity’: Ambassador on calls for CAF intervention in Haiti


“Although the country is going through a huge political and security crisis, we need to show the Haitian people that we’re their best friends and we’re there for the long run,” Joly said Saturday.

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She said she’s in contact with the ambassador there every two or three days.

The federal government advised Canadians earlier this month that if they cannot shelter in place, they should limit movements and maintain a low profile when going outside.

A state of emergency and nightly curfew were extended in Haiti earlier in March as the country deals with continuous gang attacks and dwindling supplies of basic goods.

— with files from Global News’ Mercedes Stephenson and Naomi Barghiel.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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