Haiti rebels agree to disarm
Haiti's rebels have agreed to lay down their arms, succumbing to growing international pressure.
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2004 21:53 GMT
Rebel chief Philippe had earlier threatened not to lay down arms
Haiti's rebels have agreed to lay down their arms, succumbing to growing international pressure.

Rebel chief Guy Philippe on Wednesday announced his men would disarm after receiving security guarantees from the international community.

Philippe's announcement came after his meeting with a US marine colonel who demanded that the rebels disarm.

In an address, Philippe said the international community had given him assurances about Haiti's security.

"We also received a guarantee that democracy will be put into action in Haiti," he added.

Tough talking

Diplomatic sources said the US colonel put it in no uncertain terms that Philippe had no role in Haiti's political future and should drop any intention of controlling the country.

"It was an extraordinarily frank message," the sources said.

The disarmament is a volte-face for the rebel chief, who only a day before had pompously refused to disarm.

Reacting to a terse statement from the US State Department on Tuesday to lay down arms, Philippe had insisted his men would not disarm.

Meanwhile, Haitian police during the day fought gun battles with gangs loyal to exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a neighbourhood of capital Port-au-Prince, leaving at least three dead.

Heavy fighting erupted as police sought to assert their authority on the barricaded, garbage-strewn streets of the slum.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.