Another town falls to rebels in
The decision came after several men killed two Dominican soldiers over the weekend. Dominicans had previously allowed Haitians to shop on the Dominican side of the border each Monday and Friday.
The closure of the frontier came as the central
Three people, including police chief Jonas Maxime, were slain by armed rebels in an attack on a police station in Hinche, 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince, local radio reports and residents said.
By nightfall, Hinche, a town of 87,000 inhabitants, was in the hands of rebel forces, local radio said, and the local police force had retreated to the town of
The attack on the Hinche police station was led by Louis-Jodel Chamblain, leader of a feared paramilitary group under former Haitian military dictator Raoul Cedras, who ruled the country from 1991-94, according to local radio.
The latest killings pushed the death toll since February 5, when rebels seized the northern city of
The fall of Hinche came after two rebels were killed overnight in the northern city of
An associate of the dead men, Jodesty Auguste, said the two had been members of an armed group opposed to Aristide’s rule. He claimed they were slain by a pro-government group.
Despite violence elsewhere, the streets of
Meanwhile, a rebel leader reiterated his opposition to violent overthrow of
“We affirm our commitment to a peaceful struggle and we will use every peaceful means available to us under the constitution” Serge Gilles, a rebel leader, told AFP.
Gilles noted however, that some opposition factions have not renounced violence in their bid to topple Aristide, whose popularity has plummeted following elections in 2000 tainted by fraud charges.
“There are two opposition factions — one committed to the rule of law, which we belong to, and the other violent, which we don’t approve of,” Gilles said.
He spoke as the
“We support the restoration of democratic practices, human rights, and rule of law as called for in the Organization of American States resolutions,” said White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan.
The European Union (news – web sites) on Monday said it was “greatly concerned” about the unrest in Haiti and called on Aristide to respect a regional peace plan.
“The European Union is greatly concerned at the recent outbreaks of violence in a number of provincial towns,” said a statement issued by the EU’s Irish presidency. “It calls on all political forces, without exception, to refrain from any kind of violent behaviour.”