Aristide could leave for South Africa next week
Friday, April 16, 2004

OUSTED Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide could end his temporary exile in Jamaica next week to take permanent asylum in South Africa, an official said yesterday.

The former president is “nearing completion” of his travel arrangements, though he hasn’t settled on an exact date, said Huntley Medley, Aristide’s government-appointed media liaison.

“It’s increasingly looking like he’ll be going to South Africa,” Medley said.

“He could leave as early as next week,” Medley told the Associated Press. “It’s just a matter for him to decide.”
Aristide was ousted on February 29 amid a rebel advance on the capital, Port-au-Prince.

He and his wife, Mildred, arrived in Jamaica on March 15 after a brief stay in the Central African Republic, where he accused the United States of forcibly removing him from office. US officials deny the charge.

Aristide has been staying at a tightly secured government-owned house in Lydford Park, St Ann. He has yet to speak publicly since his arrival, but plans to give a news conference before leaving the island, Medley said.