Schools Operated By Kidnapped Nuns Closed Indefinitely

(CMC) – All schools run by the Sisters of Sainte-Anne have been closed indefinitely following last Friday’s abduction of six nuns.

“Given the painful and trying situation that we are currently experiencing, all schools run by the Sisters of Sainte-Anne in Haiti are closed until further notice,” the Provincial Administration of the Sisters of Sainte-Anne in Haiti said in a statement.

The authorities said on Monday that no information or a ransom demand has been made public regarding the release of the eight people, including the six nuns, who were kidnapped here last Friday.

The gunmen are reported to have intercepted a mini-bus on Avenue du Chili, in downtown Port-au-Prince, taking all the passengers and the driver hostage.

In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis called for the release of the hostage, including the nuns, who are members of the Sisters of St Anne congregation.

Last October, the United Nations Security Council voted to send a multinational armed force led by Kenya to Haiti to help combat violent gangs, marking the first time in almost 20 years that a force would be deployed to the troubled French-speaking CARICOM country.

Haiti has been plunged into socio-economic chaos since President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination in July 2021, with criminal gangs frequently using rape to terrorise and extort victims, demand money, and control food supplies.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Union Brigade (BSAC) has called a general strike from January 29-31 “to demand action against the gangs”, as well as the non-performance of the government of Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry.

The BSAC said it is urging unions, including those representing teachers, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders to participate in the three-day general strike.

The ‘Zanmi Timoun’ Foundation, which promotes and defends the rights of children in Haiti, said in a statement that it is deeply concerned at the worsening security situation in Mariani, south of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

It is calling on the authorities to take immediate measures to guarantee the security of the population.