U.N./Police in Haiti launch major offensive against Cite Soleil
May 31, 2005
News HaitiAction.net
About Events Talk News Links Home
UN outpost on border of Cite Soleil in front of Boulos Market

U.N./Police in Haiti launch major offensive against Cite Soleil

The Haiti Information Project

Port au Prince, Haiti (HIP) - The U.N. and the Police Nationale d'Haiti (PNH) launched a major offensive today aimed at the pro-Aristide seaside slum of Cite Soleil. At least 3 people were killed and scores injured after U.N. and PNH security forces reportedly entered the area with "guns shooting everywhere" according to residents. St. Joseph's Hospital in Bois Verna, home to a project of the French organization Medicin Sans Frontier, reported their staff was having difficulty treating the increasing number of gunshot victims resulting from today's action.

In what appeared to be a response to the armed incursion, unknown assailants set fire to a large market in the old quarter of Haiti's capital known as Marche Tet Boeuf. There was general panic in the area as the flames spread and engulfed a nearby school. Gunfire reportedly rang out as people in the area were forced to run for cover prior to the outset of the fire. Radio stations in the capital reported soon after that Haiti's National Palace was also shot at.

The joint offensive by the U.N. and the PNH comes on the heels of tough talk and threats by the Haitian business community. Dr. Reginald Boulos, the President of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recently demanded the U.S.-installed government allow the business community to form their own private security firms and arm them with automatic weapons. Boulos also suggested the Latortue regime allow businesses to withhold taxes for one month and use the money to buy more powerful weapons on the international market for the police force. "If they don't allow us to do this then we'll take on own initiative and do it anyway" Boulos stated.

Haiti's recent wave of violence and insecurity began after the Haitian police fired on peaceful marches in the capital demanding the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and freedom for political prisoners on Feb. 28 and April 27. At least 11 unarmed demonstrators were killed in the two attacks and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan recently echoed demands by human rights organizations for an investigation. Leon Charles, the Chief of Police, reflected the response and attitude of the U.S.-installed regime towards human rights considerations when he recently stated, "We are in a situation of war and confronting a movement of destabilization."

Recent violence in Haiti's capital has also decreased the chances of holding elections scheduled to begin in October of this year. The body overseeing the election process, the Provisional Election Council, announced on Monday that only 60,000 people have registered out of an eligible 4.5 million potential voters since registration began on April 25. Patrick Fequieres, president of the Electoral Operations Commission for the council, responded that at this rate of registration Haiti will not be ready for balloting until 2007.

Your support
for the
Haiti Information Project is needed
to keep this alternative to the corporate
media reporting from Haiti

Get more information about donating today

See Also:

Cité Soleil under siege: Haiti's elite, U.N., and fat cat NGOs paralyzed April 25, 2005 - HIP - Lavalas militants created a massive traffic jam in the wealthy suburb of Petion-Ville today by felling a telephone pole on a road used by the country's wealthy elite, highly paid non-governmental specialists and commanders of the United Nations contingent. Traffic was backed up for six hours leading to luxury homes on Laboule road after militants first used machetes to weaken the pole and then backed up a large truck forcing it to block the road.

by Haiti Information Project

SEARCH HaitiAction.net

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!