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Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, the former Haitian dictator, has spoken publicly for the first time since returning to his homeland after 25 years in exile.

The former leader, who ruled Haiti from 1971 to 1986, has acknowledged that people were assassinated under his regime.

Duvalier says he has returned to help his shattered nation rebuild after last year's massive earthquake, which killed an estimated 316,000 people.

Is his presence muddying the waters of a country already mired in deep political turmoil?

Inside Story, with presenter Shiulie Gosh, discusses the significance of Duvalier's return in a country caught between its past and future with guests: Peter Hallward, a professor of modern European philosophy at Kingston University, London; Javier Zuniga, a Haiti researcher from Amnesty International; and Myriam Breton Jones, the vice-chair of United Haitians in the UK.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Saturday, January 22, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera