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585: BBC: Haiti: Civil society group asks Caricom for support forsecurity, opposition (fwd)

From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

Haiti: Civil society group asks Caricom for support for security, opposition
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Feb 1, 2002

The Civil Society Initiative Group [GISC] considers the two meetings they
had with the Caricom [Caribbean Community] delegation as constructive.
During the working sessions, the GISC leaders pointed out the serious
difficulties that Haiti is facing in regarding respect for human rights.
The GISC also emphasized the politicization of the Haitian National Police
[PNH], and pleaded for technical support for the PNH. Civil society leaders
hope that the Caricom mission will give the Caricom director a thorough
description of the situation here in Haiti. Professor Rosny Desroches said
the following:
[Desroches - recording, in Creole] We let them know that we appreciate their
coming here to show their solidarity with the Haitian people. We insisted
that this solidarity should display itself through a strengthening of
Haitian democratic institutions. We also let them understand that we have
many problems with institutions. We have a huge problem especially with the
fact that all the people in the country do not benefit from security.
For instance, people who do not belong to a specific political tendency risk
having their homes destroyed and so on. We think that this is not a normal
practice, because in Caribbean countries the opposition is respected. We can
say that an opposition leader in Caribbean countries is the third most
important person after the governor or president or the prime minister. So,
we in Haiti need a place for the opposition too.
We asked them therefore to give us their support in that way. They actually
acknowledged that there are problems in the country and promised to help.
They promised to make an objective report on the situation in the meeting
that is to take place in Belize at the beginning of February where they will
say exactly what they heard and saw.
We hope that their report will indeed be objective and that it will stress
the problems that we have and the necessity for all countries in the region
to cooperate with the Haitian people to help them solve that problem. We
also hope that it will help to bring about a political agreement between the
two protagonists that will unblock the country and allow the reinforcement
of democracy in the country.
Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 31 Jan 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.