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7566: Events in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

(from Caribbean Insight newsletter)

(30 Mar 01)

Supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide staged violent
demonstrations in a number of provincial towns over the past week to demand
the arrest of self-styled "provisional president" Gérard Gourgue.  In
Hinche, pro-Aristide mayor Willo Joseph and armed aides prevented an
opposition march by hundreds of peasants on March 21 and threatened two
judges.  Aristide condemned in mild terms the recent violence in the
capital and elsewhere.
        The senate demanded on March 22 that the government arrest Gourgue
"within 24 hours."  The justice and interior ministers said earlier he
risked arrest for "usurping the title of president."  US ambassador Brian
Curran warned the authorities not to arrest leaders of the main opposition
Convergence Démocratique, which has rejected the government's offer to hold
early parliamentary elections.  The Organisation of American States (OAS)
has refused Haiti's request for a new OAS pro-democracy mission until there
is progress in breaking the political deadlock.
        National police chief Pierre Denizé, against whom Aristide
supporters have campaigned for several years, was replaced on March 27 by
Neslie Lucien, former head of the presidential security unit.  Gérard
Dubreuil was named secretary of state for public security, a post vacant
since October 1999 when its previous occupant, Robert Manuel, resigned and
fled the country.