[R-G] Haiti's fugitive president speaks out
menecraj at shaw.ca
Mon Mar 1 11:49:03 MST 2004
[what a wonderful plan: first fund and arm the opposition; then
whisk Aristade out of the country because his life is endangered;
then bring in a multinational imperialist force to quell the unrest
and to no doubt protect the leaders of the newly arrived death
squads of the 80s and early 90s, who will no doubt play key
roles in the composition of Haiti's new police force.......rm]
Haiti's fugitive president speaks out
Monday 01 March 2004, 14:17 Makka Time, 11:17 GMT
Aristide's escape sparked a rampage of looting and killing
Haiti's ex-president has castigated his political opponents for
"chopping down the peace tree" in a radio address aired soon
after he arrived in the Central African Republic.
Speaking from Bangui on Monday, Jean-Bertrand Aristide also
thanked the leadership of the Central African Republic for
He is expected to travel on to exile in South Africa, according
to an official from the state protocol department in Bangui.
"I declare that in overthrowing me, they have chopped down the
peace tree, but it will grow again as its roots are Louverturian,"
he said, referring to Toussaint Louverture, who led the revolt of
black slaves in Haiti in 1791.
South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was
holding talks on Aristide's fate, but added no formal request for
exile had been presented to the government.
Back in Haiti
Meanwhile, US marines were arriving in Haiti in preparation for
an international force to restore order.
The military contingent took up combat positions at
Port-au-Prince airport on Monday just before the UN Security
Council authorised the deployment of a multinational force for
up to three months.
Canadian special forces had already secured the airport earlier
to protect the evacuation of its own nationals and were still at
French troops and gendarmes are expected to arrive within
Aristide's departure sparked a rampage through the streets of
Port-au-Prince by angry pro-government gangs armed with
guns and machetes.
At least 12 deaths and many more injuries were reported.
Widespread looting targeted warehouses and banks. Some
people ran through the streets carrying suitcases of banknotes.
But a dusk-till-dawn curfew appeared to be holding, with just
sporadic firing into the night.
After the unanimous Security Council vote, UN chief Kofi
Annan said the international community was standing by Haiti
in its "hour of need".
Aristide's constitutional successor, Supreme Court chief Boniface
Alexandre, urged an end to the violence that had left scores dead.
"Haiti, I exhort you to remain calm. No one should take justice
into their own hands," Alexandre said.
Aristide's political foes, who had refused to sign up to an
internationally backed peace deal because it did not require the
president's departure, said they were pleased with developments.
And top rebel leader Guy Philippe said his forces, who have seized
much of the country and surrounded Port-au-Prince, were ready to
lay down their weapons after Aristide's resignation.
"We are ready to get rid of our weapons. We need an international
force," Philippe told journalists from Haiti's second-largest city,
More information about the Rad-Green