Aristide repeats kidnapping charge

Exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has insisted once again that he was kidnapped and then spirited out of the country.

    The exiled president's supporters want him to return

    "During the night of 28 February, there was a coup d'etat. One could say that it was terrorism disguised as diplomacy," Aristide said in a radio address.

    The exiled president said he was kidnapped when heavily armed "white men" surrounded the presidential palace.

    The United States has repeatedly dismissed Aristide's claims and instead blames his "inept governance" for the crisis.

    Aristide charge

    But undaunted by the denials, Aristide said US military personnel in capital Port-au-Prince came to the palace before dawn and told him "the foreigners" and armed gangs leading a month-long revolt were near the capital and "already in position to open fire".

    He said the Americans also said his security detail would have to fight to the death and that 25 more guards hired form the US had been barred from coming to Haiti.

    "During the night of 28 February, there was a coup d'etat. One could say that it was terrorism disguised as diplomacy"

    Jean-Bertrand Aristide,
    exiled Haitian president

    "There was going to be a bloodbath because we were already under an illegal foreign occupation which was ready to drop bodies on the ground, to spill blood, and then kidnap me dead or alive," he said.

    Aristide, currently in the Central African Republic's capital Bangui, said he agreed to go to avoid a bloodbath and was forced to sign his letter of resignation.

    He urged his supporters to stand together under the Haitian constitution. "We also know that back home there are people who understand the game, but will not give up because if they give up, instead of finding peace, we will find death," Aristide said.

    Meanwhile, Aristide supporters have vowed to stage daily protests in Haiti against "US occupation" and press for his early return.

    "We are going to burn down the palace with the Americans inside," Jean Enzo, a resident of Port-au-Prince said. "We have reasons and we are ready to fight."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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