US authorises evacuation of non-emergency personnel from Haiti

Washington, Jul 10 (IANS): The US State Department has authorised the voluntary evacuation of all non-emergency government employees stationed in Haiti and their families due to widespread protests in that country.

The advisory on Monday comes in the wake protests in Haiti on July 6 to oppose the hike in fuel prices by 37-50 per cent, a decision which has since been reversed by the government, but failed to quell the unrest, reports Efe news.

"The US government authorised the voluntary departure of non-emergency US government personnel and their families. Right now, the US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens," the advisory said.

Washington also banned embassy employees from using ATMs, public transport and leaving embassy premises between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., besides imposing a curfew at night and prohibiting them from visiting establishments without secure parking.

"There is currently widespread civil unrest and violent demonstrations in Haiti. Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable," the Department said.

"Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents or emergencies."