Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Haiti govt says Aristide can come home

Haiti’s government said on Monday it was ready to issue a new passport to former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, which would allow him to return after almost seven years in exile in South Africa.

“The government will give assurances that as soon as it receives such a request, it will be swiftly granted,” the information ministry said in a statement.

Aristide, who fled the Caribbean country in 2004, formally requested earlier that Haitian authorities issue him a diplomatic passport, and provide guarantees for his safety.

“It is my understanding that the Council of Ministers has agreed to issue a diplomatic passport to president Aristide befitting his position as a former president of the republic,” said his lawyer Ira Kurzban.

“I kindly request that the government of the Republic of Haiti initiate dialogue with the government of the Republic of South Africa to ensure president Aristide’s immediate return.”

Political crisis
He confirmed Aristide was still in South Africa amid mounting rumours the former leader was already in Cuba waiting to return home.

Haiti is embroiled in a deepening political crisis over flawed November presidential elections, which international monitors concluded were tainted by fraud and irregularities.

Aristide, who was Haiti’s first democratically elected leader but was forced to flee a popular revolt following two stints as president, has said he wants to return to help his countrymen, as the Americas’ poorest nation struggles to recover from last year’s earthquake.

A former priest, Aristide has long maintained he was forced to step down under pressure from the United States and France.

The final results of November’s first round of presidential elections are due to be released on Wednesday, which could see the ruling party’s candidate Jude Celestin dropped from the run-off now due on March 20.

But the political situation has been complicated by the return of ousted dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who ended some two decades in exile earlier this month. – AFP

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft

The ANC, DA and EFF ‘oblivious’ to climate crisis —...

The Climate Justice Charter Movement has critiqued the manifestos of the main parties contesting the local government elections and found them ‘shallow’

More top stories

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft

Mkhwebane will not oppose Mabuyane’s application to interdict remedial action

In papers filed on Tuesday, Mkhwebane said that she would abide by the court’s decision in the matter.

The ANC, DA and EFF ‘oblivious’ to climate crisis —...

The Climate Justice Charter Movement has critiqued the manifestos of the main parties contesting the local government elections and found them ‘shallow’

Waste pickers should be seen as essential workers

Come rain or sun, waste pickers push their trolleys full of recycled material. But despite providing an environmental service they are not treated as the public-service workers they are
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×