Supported by the French army, French and foreign nationals evacuated from Haiti, prey to violence

243 French nationals, but also German, Japanese, English and even Haitian, were repatriated from Haiti on Friday to Martinique. A vast operation led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the armed forces in the Antilles. Three warships were chartered for the occasion and the nationals were evacuated by helicopter from Port-au-Prince in particular.

French army helicopters have been targeted by armed gangs in Haiti. An incredible scene told on Europe 1 by one of the French survivors evacuated last week. Europe 1 was able to board the helicopter carrier Le Tonnerre, one of the three ships deployed on this mission.

“We went higher, we flew at night, everything went well”

On board this impressive 200 meter long ship, nearly 600 people were mobilized for the operation. In charge, Captain Adrien Char. In particular, he had to react to shots fired at French helicopters. “The gangs were only equipped with light weapons. So we moved higher, we flew at night, we spaced out our forces and everything went well,” he explains.

“We have knowledge of the environment”

The Martinican soldiers are ready to leave for other missions of this type, as Colonel Sébastien Esca explains. “We can intervene first or with reinforcements because we have knowledge of the environment in the French West Indies, but also in Haiti where we have regularly sent people on reconnaissance in conjunction with the defense attaché to be ready to intervene in areas that might require it,” he says.

Once the populations have been evacuated, another expertise is essential, that of the civil protection teams led here in Martinique by Grégory. “It’s our DNA so indeed, we will be alongside these populations, these people, these French people or foreigners to assist them on French territory,” he says. Before the operation carried out last week, 1,100 French people were recorded on Haitian territory by the Quai d’Orsay.

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