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#580: Report: U.S. Must Remain in Haiti (fwd)


Monday September 27 6:14 PM ET 
Report: U.S. Must Remain in Haiti

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress must ``reverse its march toward
disengagement'' in Haiti because it would only increase the
odds against success for the impoverished Caribbean country, Rep. John
Conyers said Monday.Conyers, D-Mich., called it premature for the House
to demand a U.S. troop withdrawal from Haiti. He also criticized Senate
Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms, R-N.C., for cutting
off funds for human rights monitors deployed in Haiti by
the United Nations and the Organization of American States.``It is a big
mistake that is grossly counterproductive to the democratic process in
Haiti,'' Conyers said.Conyers released a report based on his recent trip
to Haiti along with five other House members. They were Reps. Tom
Campbell, R-Calif., Donald Payne, D-N.J., and Earl Hilliard, D-Ala., and
delegates Donna Christian-Chistensen, D-Virgin Islands,and Eni
Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa.Constitutionally, a new parliament is to
be installed Jan. 10. But an official timetable for local and
legislative elections hasn't been published, and there are few signs a
vote can be held in time.But Conyers said the Haitian people seem
resolved to move forward with democracy despite difficulties.
``It is clear that preparations for Haiti's elections will not be
complete by the end of this year, but I do not believe that reflects in
any way a lack of commitment to having free and fair elections.''