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9708: Haiti-Unrest (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By MICHAEL NORTON
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Nov 22 (AP) -- Haitians angry with the government mobbed
two senators passing through a town in the Port-au-Prince area on Thursday,
trapping the legislators inside city hall for two hours until police
rescued them by helicopter.
Senators Clones Lans and Gerald Gilles were on their way to the capital
when about 100 protesters confronted them in the town of St. Marc, about 50
miles northwest of Port-au-Prince.
The crowd punctured the tires of their two all-terrain vehicles, Lans
said in an interview on his arrival at Port-au-Prince airport.
After he and Gilles took refuge in the town hall, the mob surrounded the
building, shouting "Long live Aristide!" and "Down with the government!"
"They are demanding the departure of the government" of Prime Minister
Jean-Marie Cherestal, Lans said earlier by telephone from City Hall.
Activists had announced a campaign to force Cherestal to resign earlier
this week. Slum dwellers in the Port-au-Prince area have protested poor
living conditions and have demanded better roads, telephone, electricity
and health services.
Most support President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and blame Cherestal and
On Tuesday, pro-Aristide activist Rene Civil announced a nationwide
campaign to force Cherestal to resign.
Cherestal "indulges himself by buying luxurious houses for personal
purposes and buying luxury vehicles. The government takes everything for
itself," Civil said, referring to the government purchase earlier this year
of a $l.7 million mansion for the prime minister.