The ousted leader of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, urged his followers on Monday to resist the ''occupation'' of their homeland peacefully, and said that he still considered himself president. Aristide denounced the rebels as drug dealers and terrorists and repeated the claim that he had been kidnapped by the Americans.
Exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide issued a statement on Sunday saying he was ''well looked after'' by his hosts and would personally address reporters at an unspecified ''opportune time''. When reporters asked Mildred Aristide if her husband was healthy, she nodded. Asked if the couple were prisoners, she sighed.
United States Senator John Kerry criticised President George Bush for failing to back Haiti's elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, saying the administration's policy was ''shortsighted'' and sent ''a terrible message'' to the region and democracies, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
United States Secretary of State Colin Powell on Friday discussed Haiti's political situation with South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, one day after she called for an inquiry into former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide's departure from his country.
The Cabinet in the Central African Republic (CAR) went into talks on Friday, reportedly to discuss what to do with their difficult guest, ousted Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and took steps to keep him quiet. All journalists with questions relating to Aristide must now first address themselves to the CAR authorities.
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United States Secretary of State Colin Powell asked South Africa to give former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide asylum, a senior South African politician said on Friday. South Africa has since joined Caribbean countries in their call for an investigation into Aristide's departure from Haiti.
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The former Haitian president has caused a stir in several governments since being ousted last week. President Thabo Mbeki must have accepted that his relationship with Aristide has become an election issue for him. But things could have been so much worse had he actually given Aristide asylum.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was sitting in his car on the tarmac at Port-au-Prince airport early on Sunday morning waiting for the plane to take him to exile when the United States diplomat Luis Moreno tapped on his window. ''Mr President, with all due respect, the plane is 20 minutes away, I really need the letter,'' Moreno said, meaning Aristide's letter of resignation.
South Africa has still not been asked to give refuge to ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said on Tuesday. Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon on Tuesday said South Africa should deny Aristide entry in accordance with its own law on asylum seekers.
South Africa would "have no problem" with granting asylum to ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, but no formal request has been received, the government said on Monday. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad said a final decision, based on a formal request, would be made by the Cabinet.
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The South African government said on Monday it was still not aware of any plan for ousted Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to seek asylum. ''We are not aware that President Aristide is making his way to South Africa,'' said foreign affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa.
Troops from the United States and France were rushing to Haiti on Sunday night in a scramble to fill the power vacuum left after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled the country with US help. A force of US marines was scheduled to arrive on Sunday night, with a French contingent of between 120 and 140 troops due to join them on Monday morning.