BERT WILKINSON, Associated Press Writer
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (AP) —
Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide will not take Nigeria up on its offer of temporary asylum, an associate said Tuesday.
Randall Robinson, an African-American activist, also accused the United States of exerting diplomatic pressure to shuttle Aristide far away from the Caribbean.
Robinson said he had spoken with Aristide, who is in Jamaica, by telephone after Nigeria Monday offer of asylum.
“He has not asked and does not want to go to Nigeria,” Robinson said by phone from his home on the nearby island of St. Kitts. “He has not requested to do so.”
Robinson is a former president of TransAfrica, a Washington-based group that monitors U.S. policy toward Africa and the Caribbean.
Aristide left Haiti Feb. 29 as rebels threatened to attack the capital of Port-au-Prince. He later said U.S. troops kidnapped him, a charge denied by the United States.
Aristide arrived in Central African Republic on March 1 and stayed there with his wife until March 15, when he flew to Jamaica to be with his two daughters. Robinson accompanied Aristide on that flight.
Jamaica’s government has said it will allow Aristide and his wife, Mildred, to remain for 10 weeks while they seek permanent asylum.
Interim Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, the United States and others have criticized Jamaica for accepting Aristide, saying his presence in the Caribbean could raise tension in Haiti.
“Were elections to be held in Haiti tomorrow, Aristide would be overwhelmingly re-elected,” Robinson said. “This fear has enraged the U.S. and has caused it to behave undemocratically and awfully.”
Unofficially, Jamaican officials say Aristide wants to go to South Africa, which has indicated it would accept the former leader.