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7397: Agence France Presse - Violence in Haiti (fwd)
From: Jean Jean-Pierre <email@example.com>
Copyright 2001 Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse
March 20, 2001, Tuesday 3:20 AM, Eastern Time
SECTION: Domestic, non-Washington, general news item
LENGTH: 327 words
HEADLINE: Violence continues for second day in Haiti
DATELINE: PORT-AU-PRINCE, March 20
As Haiti's capital was overcome by violent demonstrations that spilled
over into areas outside the
city Tuesday, Prime Minister Jean-Marie Cherestal pressed for calm.
Cherestal urged people "not to succumb to panic" during the second
consecutive day of unrest, while
the justice and interior ministries issued a joint statement confirming
that protests were breaking out
at points throughout the capital and also in provincial towns.
Throughout the day on Monday, members of pro-government neighborhood
sometimes violent demonstrations, lobbing stones at passing motorists
and erecting roadblocks made
of rocks and burning tires.
The demonstrators -- supporters of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide -- were calling for the
arrest of Gerard Gourgue, the veteran politician and human-rights
activist whom the opposition
Democratic Convergence Party named last month as its own "provisional
president," to head a
shadow government representing repudiation of Aristide's second term.
The demonstrations continued Tuesday, with more flaming tire barricades
in several districts --
including downtown Port-au-Prince and Petionville to the southeast --
and continued rock throwing
in the early morning hours near the Petionville market.
Haitian politics have been in a state of crisis since last year's May
legislative elections, which were
marred by opposition charges that the ballot was rigged.
The opposition wants new legislative elections to replace lawmakers
A widely boycotted presidential election on November 26 brought
Aristide, Haiti's president from
1991 to 1996, back to power, and a further round of voting for the
legislature that day confirmed his
party's control over the Senate.
Last week, the Democratic Convergence rejected a proposal for partial
elections to settle the crisis,
criticizing the proposal as the product of a "unilateral" decision by