Originally: Former Haitian Armed Forces commander opposes disarmament

Gilbert Ravix, former commander of the Haitian Armed Forces, wants free elections to be held in the country next year with the help of the demobilized soldiers he leads.

According to him, the disarmament that the government and the international community are advocating is a step that is not at all in keeping with the constitution. He explains that the 1987 Constitution acknowledges the existence of the army and that the troops he is leading do not intend to put down their weapons. He asserts that they are ready to die for their country. Furthermore, he says the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti  contingents will not hasten to disarm the Haitian military because they recognize what a military institution represents. We invite you to listen to him at the microphone of Luckman Vieux.

A.  Our position is in keeping with the constitution. Our weapon is the constitution. What the government is negotiating here, it cannot compare chimeres to the legal Haitian army. If the government wants to carry out disarmament, the first thing it will do is that it will disarm the chimeres.

As a legal force, we will be there with the Haitian National Police to help as much as we can in order to put the country on the right track. Even though the police have weapons in their hands, they have problems. What can you expect for us who completed the fight if the government considers disarming? This is something illegal. This is something that will never happen.

They cannot impose anything on us, because we are Haitians. We will always be able to serve our country, because we have sworn to die for our country. We will always be able to provide services to our country normally.

Q.  How will that be done if the men actually begin the disarmament and consider disarming the soldiers?

A. The soldiers who have come here know what soldiers are. They will consider things coolheadedly and will not hasten to do something like that.