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Caribbean Nations Call For UN Investigation on Ouster of Aristide In Haiti

DN! | 05.03.2004 18:16 | Anti-militarism | World

Friday, March 5th, 2004

South Africa has also expressed concerns. The country’s foreign affairs minister said if the U.S. did kidnap Aristide it will “have serious consequences and ramifications for the respect of the rule of law and democracy the world over.”
Just days before Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed as Haiti’s leader and forced out of the country, he had signed what was being billed as a US-backed peace plan between his government and the opposition. The proposal was initially put forth by the 15-nation Caribbean Community, CARICOM. Even though the plan was widely viewed as favorable to his opponents, Aristide signed the agreement that would have greatly reduced his powers and given the post of Prime Minister to a figure acceptable to the opposition.
The groups and organizations opposed to Aristide delayed responding to the proposal, as the paramilitary forces led by Guy Philippe, Jodel Chamblain and Jean Tatoune continued to grab more territory in Haiti. Ultimately, the opposition rejected the plan, saying they would only accept Aristide’s removal from power.

This week, the CARICOM nations called for a United Nations investigation into the circumstances of Aristide’s departure from office and from Haiti. They were joined yesterday by South Africa. In a statement, the South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma expressed concern at allegations Aristide was forced to leave the country. The foreign minister said if it is true, it will “have serious consequences and ramifications for the respect of the rule of law and democracy the world over.”

To get a perspective on how the removal from Aristide is playing in the region around Haiti, we go to Kingston, Jamaica.

John Maxwell, a veteran Jamaican journalist. He has covered Caribbean affairs for more than 40 years. He is currently a columnist for The Jamaica Observer. He joins us on the phone from Kingston.

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  1. furthermore — black commentator
  2. CARICOM 'does not accept the removal of Aristide ' —
  3. CARICOM statement — .