[Marxism] Haiti: UN marauders attack pro-Aristide stronghold
davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Tue Dec 14 17:15:12 MST 2004
By AMY BRACKEN, Associated Press Writer
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Hundreds of U.N. peacekeeping [SIC!!!!]
troops stormed a stronghold of ousted President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide's supporters on Tuesday, seeking control of areas that
have become flashpoints of violence. At least six people were shot.
Shootouts broke out between residents and U.N. troops who rolled
into Cite Soleil before dawn, said Damian Onses-Cardona, a
spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission.
Cite Soleil, a gritty slum outside Port-au-Prince, has been a center
of violence since September, when Aristide loyalists increased
protests to demand his return from exile in South Africa. More than
100 people have died in political violence since Sept. 30.
Three people with gunshot wounds were carried through a U.N.
roadblock on Tuesday. Residents told U.N. officials the injured had
been shot by armed thugs.
In addition, U.N. troops carried away a 16-year-old boy and a 26-
year-old woman who were hurt by gunfire, relatives told The
The troops also transported Fransur Julien, 13. He lay on a bed in
his kitchen after a bullet penetrated his home and struck him in the
side. His mother, Memen Oben, said she had no way of getting
him to a hospital. She said she didn't know where the bullet came
The show of force came a week after U.N. mission chief Juan
Gabriel Valdes promised a crackdown on armed groups, saying
troops would disarm gangsters for the first time since U.N.
peacekeepers arrived to stabilize the island nation.
On Tuesday, sympathizers of the ousted leader, who fled the
country on Feb. 29 after a three-week rebellion, hurled stones at a
neighborhood considered anti-Aristide. The Aristide loyalists, some
armed with guns and machetes, also set fire to several tin and
wooden shacks belonging to their opponents.
U.N. officials said they planned to patrol the area for at least two
months until they can transfer operations to Haiti's beleaguered
police. Many officers, who had been loyal to Aristide, fled their
posts during the rebellion out of fear of reprisals. Nearly 20 police
officers have been slain since Sept. 30, allegedly by Aristide
The troops planned to dismantle roadblocks erected by residents
and gain control of two police stations in the slum.
Onses-Cardona said Tuesday's operation involved hundreds of
Brazilian, Jordanian and Sri Lankan troops, flanked by Chinese
police and Chilean helicopters. He said most of the troops left after
several hours but similar pushes would occur daily.
"This operation is definitely not an easy thing or a quick thing," he
Both the 6,000-member peacekeeping force and the U.S.-backed
interim government have done little to disarm Aristide loyalists or
rebels who still control much of the countryside, patrolling towns
and undermining police authority.
The rebels include members of the army Aristide disbanded in
1994 and who are demanding backpay.
Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue has accused Aristide of
orchestrating the violence from exile a charge Aristide has
denied. Aristide claims the United Stated forced him to leave the
country, a claim rejected by U.S. officials.
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