Group defends work in Haiti of 17 kidnapped missionaries – .

Group defends work in Haiti of 17 kidnapped missionaries – .

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITITI – A religious organization whose 17 missionaries were kidnapped in Haiti almost a week ago defended its work in dangerous places on Tuesday.

The statement by Christian Aid Ministries comes as US and Haitian authorities continue to work to secure the release of 12 adults and five children, including an 8-month-old child, who were kidnapped on October 16 near the capital Port-au- Prince.

“Sometimes we are asked why our workers were in Haiti,” the organization said, adding that they wanted to share the impact religion has had on their own lives. “We want others to enjoy the joy, peace and redemption that we have experienced. “

U.S. officials reiterated that the government issued a warning in August about the risk of kidnapping for ransom in Haiti, where the leader of the 400 Mawozo gang that kidnapped the 16 Americans and one Canadian recently threatened to kill the group though. his demands are not met. .

Haitian officials said the gang was demanding a ransom of $ 1 million per capita, but it was not clear whether this included children. A local human rights organization said the group’s Haitian driver was also kidnapped.

On Tuesday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the situation will be a topic of conversation at the next G20 meeting, adding that the United States and other countries must step up efforts and give Haiti the type investment and international aid it needs.

He said he was personally giving US President Joe Biden a daily update on the situation, noting that several law enforcement and hostage recovery specialists are working with the religious organization, the families of the victims and the Haitian government “to try to coordinate and organize a recovery. . “

“We are looking at all the options available as to how to do this,” Sullivan said. “But these things work and have worked in Haiti historically on different schedules, under different circumstances. And so we need to handle this situation as carefully as possible so that in the end we achieve our goal, which is the safe return of each of those (abducted). “

On Monday, the religious organization issued a statement imploring people not to grow weary and to continue praying, “We don’t know how God will choose to bring a resolution, but we desire His will to be done.

As recovery efforts continue, the Haitian capital was again crippled on Tuesday by a two-day strike in which the streets were largely empty as severe fuel shortages blamed on gangs blocking distribution terminals of gas continued. Jimmy Cherizier, head of the G9 Family and Allies, a gang federation considered to be Haiti’s largest and most powerful, held a press conference on Tuesday and said if Prime Minister Ariel Henry stepped down on Tuesday night, he would reopen the blocked roads on Wednesday to allow the flow of goods.

Benac reported from Washington, DC Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus Ohio and Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.


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