Haiti's ex-president travels to Jamaica

Former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide has left the Central African Republic for Jamaica, though the island has not offered political asylum.

    Aristide's (L) relations with CAR President Bozize were tense

    Bangui airport officials confirmed on Monday that Aristide would be in the Caribbean island nation within hours, accompanied by his wife Mildred and a personal aide.
    Aristide left Haiti on 29 February after opposition and rebel forces demanded his resignation, alleging mismanagement and corruption. 
    But the former president claims he has been flown into exile as part of a plot managed by the US and backed by France.

    He has launched legal action against members of both governments.

    Washington and Paris have strongly denied the claims. Caribbean leaders have called for an inquiry into Aristide's accusation.
    Humanitarian intervention?

    Jamaican parliamentarian Sharon Hay Webster arrived in the Central African Republic on Sunday and met the ousted president.
    She said she had come to "get him out of this situation," adding that Jamaica, as president of the community of Caribbean states, Caricom, was intervening for purely humanitarian reasons.
    She said Caricom was seeking a solution that would enable Aristide to leave Bangui and go somewhere where he could see his two daughters, now in the United States.

    The probable return of Aristide to the Caribbean has provoked unease in Washington, which fears it could rekindle violence in Haiti.

    The US is currently at the head of a 2600-man multinational force is spearheading a process of political transition.
    Jamaica lies less than 200kms to the west of Haiti.
    Jamaican President Percival Patterson last week said Aristide's expected visit, which reports said would last for up to 10 weeks, should not be regarded as the granting of political asylum. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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