Annan Calls on Haitians to Resolve Political Differences Peacefully

6 February 2004 ? Expressing concern about rising bloodshed in Haiti, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Haitians to resolve their differences peacefully and through constitutional means.

In a statement released by his spokesman, Mr. Annan termed yesterday?s events in the city of Gonaives ? Haiti?s fourth largest town ? ?a further escalation in the violence that is affecting the country.?

Lying northwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince, Gonaives is where the country’s independence was proclaimed on 1 January 1804. Clashes between government forces and armed opposition members there yesterday led to a number of deaths.

Mr. Annan emphasized his full support for the efforts of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in trying to work through the political impasse, as well as the continuing work of the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Mission in Haiti.

The United Nations fielded a series of missions to Haiti, largely during the 1990s, in a bid to support the professionalization of the Haitian National Police force, consolidate Haiti’s system of justice and other national institutions, and promote human rights.