View Full Version : Haitian police retake major city

10 Feb 04,, 05:23
Haitian police retake major city

Haitian authorities have retaken a key northern city from rebels opposed to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Police, backed by helicopters, entered the port of Saint-Marc, about 65 miles (105km) north of the capital Port-au-Prince, city residents said.

Prime Minister Yvon Neptune flew to the city and urged all sides to help restore calm.

Earlier, Mr Neptune accused the civil opposition of trying to mount a coup as unrest continued to spread in Haiti.

About 10 towns in northwestern Haiti have been affected by the five-day street violence in which some 40 people have been reportedly killed.

An opposition spokesman denied backing the unrest and called for foreign intervention to avert civil war.

France said it was very worried about the developments and appealed to both sides to end the violence immediately.

"Our officials on the ground are working together with the other diplomatic and consular missions that are present," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said.

The United States expressed great concerns about the continuing violence, urging Haitians to respect the law.

"The problems of Haiti will not be solved by violence and retribution," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said the situation was being monitored closely.

"We will be stepping up our own involvement fairly soon," Mr Annan said.

Widespread looting

"The national police force alone cannot re-establish order," Prime Minister Neptune told the Associated Press agency, as he was inspecting the charred remains of the Saint-Marc police station torched by the rebels.

Earlier, Mr Neptune said the opposition should play a role in stopping the violence and help the country to hold elections.

Television pictures earlier showed crowds - said to number hundreds - looting food and goods in the city.

Opposition spokesman Andy Apaid told the BBC that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide must stand down, adding that the international community's help was needed to "make sure the message gets through".

But, he added, the opposition did not support the violence sweeping through Haiti.

Further north, police have withdrawn from the rebel-held city of Gonaives.

Most of the city's 200,000 inhabitants are also believed to have fled.

Police had been trying to regain control of Gonaives since rebels - who describe themselves as the Gonaives Resistance Front - seized control of it on Friday, and nine people reported killed in clashes.

Opposition groups are calling for the president's resignation, saying he stole the 2000 election which returned him to power.

They also accuse him of corruption and human rights violations.

President Aristide has offered to hold parliamentary elections but insists he will serve out his second term in office, which ends in 2006.


10 Feb 04,, 23:19
Anybody know what kind of weapons are in use by the 2 sides?

13 Feb 04,, 05:26
Small arms.

Guess we'll be going back there pretty soon...

14 Feb 04,, 01:07
Originally posted by M21Sniper
Small arms.

Guess we'll be going back there pretty soon...
I second your comment, hopefully well get them to democratically elect somebody without inciting a civil war.

01 Mar 04,, 04:20
Aristide just left with some marines, most likely to Dominica Republic.

Bush sent in some Marines as a stabilizing force. I sure hope there is not a mission creep there.

I am of the firm opinion that we stay the hell out of there. Just blockade the island and turn back any refugees to the island. It is the most cheapest and cost effective method that US can use. It is not our mess and it is our responsibility to confine that mess to Haiti and keep it that way.

Officer of Engineers
02 Mar 04,, 07:48
March 2, 2004

World News

Canadian troops secure airport

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) - Canadian troops took control of the Port-au-Prince airport on Sunday while Haitian police resumed patrols in the capital to end the violence that erupted upon the departure of embattled president Jean Bertrand Aristide, witnesses said.
About 30 Canadian special forces soldiers secured the airport and two sharpshooters positioned themselves on the top of the control tower overlooking the tarmac where three Canadian Hercules aircraft arrived earlier in the day to evacuate Canadian citizens, they said.

Meanwhile, in downtown Port-au-Prince where pro-Aristide gangs had been rampaging, Haitian police were seen detaining looters and firing shots in the air to prevent arson and assaults on passersby and journalists, the witnesses said.

Nevertheless, the security situation in many parts of the city and its suburbs remained volatile Sunday, as random barricades, many of them made of flaming tires, continued to be manned by surly Aristide partisans who reacted with extreme anger to news of the president's departure.

Plumes of smoke continued to rise over sections of Port-au-Prince, although a black haze that had earlier hovered over the presidential palace -- the result of a nearby house being set afire and a blazing gasoline station -- had dissipated.

Copyright 2004 Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. All right reserved.

02 Mar 04,, 08:31
All is well. Aristede (spelling?) has been abucted by the US to CAR.

Now, the real fun and games begin.

Watch this space!