Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti Rebellion 1994 & 2004

n 1994 Haiti was in full rebellion against the government. Thousands rioted on the streets calling for the return of Jean Betrand Aristide. Tony Smith and Tim Exton were on the streets of Port Au Prince to witness the violent uprising first hand. They were able to film this extraordinary footage.

In December 1990, the former priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected President in the Haitian general election, winning by more than two thirds of the vote. His 5 year mandate began on 7 February 1991. In August 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government faced a non-confidence vote within the Haitian Chamber of Deputies and Senate. Eighty three voted against him, while only eleven members voted in support of Aristide's government. Following a coup d' état in September 1991, President Aristide was flown into exile. In accordance with Article 149 of Haiti's Constitution of 1987, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nerette was named Provisional President and elections were called for December 1991 – elections which were blocked by the international community[citation needed] – and the resulting chaos extended into 1994.

In 1994, Haitian General Raoul Cédras asked former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to help avoid a U.S. military invasion of Haiti. President Carter relayed this information to President Clinton, who asked Carter, in his role as founder of The Carter Center, to undertake a mission to Haiti with Senator Sam Nunn, D-GA, and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell. [37] The team successfully negotiated the departure of Haiti's military leaders and the peaceful entry of U.S. forces under Operation Uphold Democracy, thereby paving the way for the restoration of Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president. In October 1994, Aristide returned to Haiti to complete his term in office. Aristide disbanded the Haitian army, and established a civilian police force. Aristide vacated the presidency in February 1996, which had been the scheduled end of his 5 year term based on the date of his inauguration.

In 1996, René Préval was elected as president for a five-year term, winning 88% of the popular vote. Préval had previously served as Aristide's Prime Minister from February to October 1991.

APTN unvoiced news video. On February 22, 2004, members of Haiti's disbanded army and ex-police officers stormed Cap-Haitien, killing supporters of the government and chasing away the police. They freed all the prisoners in the jail, burned the police headquarters and held a victory parade through the city, attacking the radio station of a vehement government supporter, Deputy Naom Marcellus.

The 2004 Haiti rebellion was a coup d'etat that happened after conflicts that occurred for several weeks in Haiti during February 2004. It resulted in the premature end of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's second term, in which he left Haiti on a United States (U.S.) plane accompanied by U.S. military/security personnel. Controversy remains regarding the extent of the involvement of the U.S. in his departure and whether or not the departure was voluntary. Aristide described his departure as a kidnapping. An interim government led by Prime Minister Gérard Latortue (brought back from the US) and President Boniface Alexandre was installed.

The United Nations Security Council, of which France is a permanent member, rejected a Feb. 26, 2004 appeal from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for international peacekeeping forces to be sent into its member state Haiti, but voted unanimously to send in troops three days later, just hours after Aristide's controversial resignation.

"I believe that (the call for reparations) could have something to do with it, because they (France) were definitely not happy about it, and made some very hostile comments," Myrtha Desulme, chairperson of the Haiti-Jamaica Exchange Committee, told IPS. "(But) I believe that he did have grounds for that demand, because that is what started the downfall of Haiti," she says."

The Ottawa Initiative on Haiti or simply the Ottawa Initiative, was a conference hosted by Canada that took place in Montreal, Quebec on 31 January and 1 February 2003, to decide the future of Haiti's government, though no Haitian government officials were invited. The conference was attended by Canadian, French, and U.S. and Latin American officials.

n September 2003, Amiot Metayer was found dead, his eyes shot out and his heart cut out, most likely the result of machete-inflicted wounds. He was, prior to his death, the leader of the Gonaives gang known as "The Cannibal Army." After his death, his brother Buteur Metayer swore vengeance against those he felt responsible for Amiot's death—namely, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Buteur took charge of the Cannibal Army and promptly renamed it the National Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Haiti.[citation needed]

On February 5, 2004, this rebel group seized control of Haiti's fourth-largest city, Gonaïves, marking the beginning of a minor revolt against Aristide. During their sack of the city, they burned the police station and looted it for weapons and vehicles, which they used to continue their campaign down the coast. By February 22, the rebels had captured Haiti's second-largest city, Cap-Haïtien. As the end of February approached, rebels continued to advance to within miles of the capital, Port-au-Prince

After a 3-week rebellion in 2004 Aristide voluntarily or involuntarily left Haiti on a US plane accompanied by US security personnel as the rebels approached the capital and was flown, with[15] or without knowledge of his route and destination, via Antigua to Bangui, Central African Republic.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Boniface Alexandre succeeded Aristide as interim president and petitioned the United Nations Security Council for the intervention of an international peacekeeping force. The Security Council passed a resolution the same day "[t]aking note of the resignation of Jean-Bertrand Aristide as President of Haiti and the swearing-in of President Boniface Alexandre as the acting President of Haiti in accordance with the Constitution of Haiti" and authorized such a mission. As a vanguard of the official UN force, a force of about 1,000 United States Marines arrived in Haïti within the day, and Canadian, French and Chilean troops arrived the next morning; the United Nations indicated it would send a team to assess the situation within days.

On June 1, 2004, the peacekeeping mission was passed to MINUSTAH and comprise a 7000 strength force led by Brazil and backed up by Argentina, Chile, Jordan, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Spain, Sri Lanka and Uruguay.

Brazilian forces led the United Nations peacekeeping troops in Haiti composed of United States, France, Canada and Chile deployments. These peacekeeping troops were part of the ongoing MINUSTAH operation.

In the Haitian general election, 2006, René Préval was elected president.

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