Canada withdrawing nonessential embassy staff from Haiti

Associated Press

Ottawa, On. — Canada said it is temporarily withdrawing nonessential staff from its embassy in Haiti.

The move comes in response to a spike in gang-related violence in Haiti and a severe lack of fuel that has affected hospitals, schools and banks.

Global Affairs Canada said Friday the embassy in Port-au-Prince remains open, but all Canadians should avoid nonessential travel to the country.

The fuel shortage has threatened basic services across much of Haiti, which is still recovering from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in July.

The country has also been beset by widespread gang violence, with U.S. and Haitian authorities trying to secure the release of 17 members of a missionary group kidnapped last month.

That group includes one Canadian.