[News] Haiti Update

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Mon Feb 9 09:03:25 EST 2004

AHP News - February 8, 2004 - English translation (Unofficial)

Prime Minister Yvon Neptune calls on the opposition political coalition to 
bring an end to the terrorist acts perpetrated in several regions of the 

Port-au-Prince, February 8, 2004- (AHP)- Prime Minister Yvon Neptune called 
Sunday for the leaders of the opposition to bring to an end the terrorist 
acts committed by its members in several regions of the country, notably 
Gonaïves, Saint-Marc and Grand-Goâve.

Partisans of the Platform killed members of the population Thursday as well 
as police officers during an attack that made use of heavy weapons directed 
against the police headquarters in Gonaïves and homes that were set on fire 
and looted.

"The opposition can not wish to attain power through guns. If it wished to 
participate in efforts made by the government to reinforce democracy, it 
must renounce violence", asserted the head of the government. Mr. Neptune 
also called on the international community to persuade the opposition of 
the need to abandon the path of terrorism.

The political problems must be resolved in a constitutional manner in any 
democratic society, he said, and he asked the victims of the violence to 
assist the police in identifying those responsible for terrorist acts in 
order that they be be prevented from causing further harm.

The leaders of the political coalition led by André Apaid Junior have 
refused on several occasions in recent weeks to join in the various efforts 
to find a peaceful way out of the crisis.

The Platform again last week distanced itself from a CARICOM initiative 
seeking to bring the parties in conflict back to the table to hold a 

Several leaders of the political coalition, including Winter Etienne have 
recently declared that street demonstrations are not enough to oust the 
government. The spokesperson for the opposition in Gonaïves said Friday 
that demonstrations will not be able to demonstrate anything because the 
supporters of Lavalas are always still more numerous in the streets.

The Platform canceled a demonstration this Sunday in the wake of a march on 
Saturday by supporters of the government that drew hundreds of thousands of 

In Grand Goâve, an individual named Ti Nènè, a fugitive from justice who 
states that he is working for the opposition political coalition, leads a 
group of armed men who set fire Sunday to the police station and kidnapped 
a reporter from Télémax, a privately owned television station, as was 
returning from Les Cayes.

A journalist from the government's TNH television station who was traveling 
in the same vehicle has also been reported disappeared.

AHP February 8, 2004 4:00 PM

Armed members of the opposition set fire to the police station in 
Grand-Goâve and at least one school, and abduct two journalists, one from 
TNH and another from Télémax

Grand Goâve, February 8, 2004 -(AHP)- Armed men from the opposition 
abducted early this Sunday in the vicinity of Grand Goâve (40kms South of 
the capital) a reporter from Télévision Nationale d'Haïti (TNH, National 
Television of Haiti) and a journalist from the privately owned television 
station, Telémax.

The reporters were identified as Marie Andre Métellus and Frantz Moise.

The two journalists were returning from the city of Les Cayes where they 
had covered a pro-government demonstration on Saturday commemorating the 
third anniversary of the inauguration of President Aristide's second term 
in office.

The vehicle in which the crews from the two television stations were 
traveling was attacked by supporters of the opposition.

According to initial witnesses, the attack was carried out by former 
members of the military who are working with the opposition political 

Other journalists who were also aboard the vehicle were able to flee.

The armed men of the opposition also set fire to the city's police station 
and at least one school.

A new stage has been reached in the strategy of terror launched Thursday in 
Gonaives, where members of the opposition led by escaped convict Jean 
Tatoune, have killed close to a dozen people including police officers, and 
have set fire to the police headquarters, public offices and homes.

These new acts of violence are part of a vast operation put in place by the 
opposition in an attempt to take power, said several residents of 
Grand-Goâve, who rejected the rumors broadcast over the airwaves that 
suggested that the general population is involved in this blind violence.

AHP February 8, 2004 8:00 PM

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