|Haiti Archives 1995-1996|
|19/11/95||Haiti: Summary of Stepped Up Tensions|
From: “Christian Peacemaker Teams” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CPTNET Nov. 16, 1995 Haiti Events Summary
Tuesday, November 7
Two parliamentarians were ambushed and sprayed with bullets in Port-au-Prince shortly after the inauguration of Claudette Werleigh as Prime Minister. The attack killed Deputy Jean Hubert Feuille and seriously injured Deputy Gabriel Fortune, who, during President Aristide’s three years in exile, had been his bodyguard.
Wednesday, November 8
Demonstrations for disarmament erupted in Les Cayes and Port Salut, the home towns of the two deputies who were attacked the previous day. A former FRAPH leader in Les Cayes was killed. Police conducted a raid on former de facto President (1988) General Prosper Avril and found a cache of weapons.
Thursday, November 9
President Aristide met with the newly reformed cabinet.
Saturday, November 11
At the funeral services for Deputy Feuille in the cathedral of Port-au-Prince, President Aristide made an impassioned speech calling for disarmament; he chided the UN for failure to do so over the last 13 months and invoked his authority as chief of state to issue an order on behalf of the cabinet for police to carry out “total, general, capital, legal” disarmament; he also called upon the population to tell police where illegal weapons can be found. Asking multinational forces to show that he can count on them, Aristide told them that if they do not assist in the disarmament process, they have no place in the country. Finally, Aristide, called for the arrest of any Haitian and the expulsion of any foreigner who tries to prevent disarmament from happening. Demonstrations in support of the call for disarmament occurred throughout the country. In some areas, citizens searched cars and houses for weapons.
Sunday, November 12
Monday, November 13
Illegal weapons were found in the hands of Catholic church leaders in Cape Haitian. In Gonaives some 20 houses were burned, one Duvalierist was killed, three people were killed during a demonstration, and at least nine people were hospitalized after citizens acted on their own. In Fort Libete, while the National Haitian Police Force were conducting a search, they found guns at houses of several makouts. Citizens dug up the ground inside the house and found several plastic gallons filled with bullets, 4 disassembled machine guns, and other ammunition.
That evening a popular National Public radio program referred to the CPT team that recently asked a Multinational Force in Jeremie to assist with disarmament by following civilian leads about where to find armaments. The Multinational Force has not yet complied.
In Port-au-Prince, some houses were burned and several roads were blocked. Police carried out selective searches of cars for weapons. President Aristide called for the disarmament process to continue at an increased pace, but with order and discipline. He warned that provocateurs will attempt to use the demonstrations for their own purposes. Prime Minister Werleigh called for citizens to refrain from abusive activities which can give a pretext for actions like the 1991 coup d’etat. She called for citizen participation through giving the police information to help locate illegal arms. She called on the UN multinational force in the country to aid the process in keeping with the Governors Island accords. Lakda Brahimi, special representative of UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali for the Haiti UN mission, while condemning illegal and violent acts by citizens, offered support from the UN forces to the Haitian police carrying out the government’s order for disarmament. “Justice needs to work the way the Haitian people want it to work,” he said.
Tuesday, Nov. 14
In Cap Haitien, a drug dealing gang, “Mendellen,” used weapons to resist Haitian police and civilians who came to search their houses.
Election note: Among the 12 presidential candidates, the best known and most popular is Rene Preval, former prime minister during Aristide’s first 7 months of office. Preval also has the support of political leaders such as Manno Charlemagne (mayor of Port-au-Prince, Patrick Norzeus (mayor of Delmas), and Father Yvon Massacre.
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is an initiative among Mennonite and Brethren congregations who participate in public responses to organized violence. Contact CPT at P. O. Box 6508 Chicago, IL 60680 tel. FAX 312-455-1199 e-mail email@example.com gopher://gopher.uci.com/11/archives/cpt
Jim Lynch <written at Rochester, New York>