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7761: Events in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

(3 May 01)

The opposition Convergence Démocratique (CD) rejected an invitation by
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to attend talks on solving the political
deadlock, to be held in the presidential palace on May 3.  The CD said it
did not recognise Aristide as president and that the talks must take place
on neutral ground with Aristide in person as a party leader.  An opposition
invitation to Aristide for talks on April 27 failed when the CD refused to
negotiate with a spokesman, Sen Yvon Neptune, that he sent in his place.
        Interior minister Henri Claude Ménard apparently overruled a
decision by justice minister Gary Lissade to arrest the pro-government
mayor of Hinche, Dongo Joseph, in 19 April for beating a local judge. 
Joseph was freed on 26 April without being charged.
        Gunmen kidnapped the owner of an Internet café, Jonas Guillaume, in
Pétionville on May 1 and demanded $600,000 ransom.  The wife of a local
Arab businessman was seized on April 30 by kidnappers who demanded $1
million but freed her after reportedly being given less than $50,000.  A
leading US businessman, Marc Ashton, was kidnapped in the street on 5 April
but was later freed without payment of a demanded $1.5 million ransom.