Friday, March 26, 2004

Hti: I was wrong ... perhaps

South Africa will be the permanent home in exile for Haiti's ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Jamaican officials said Thursday on condition of anonymity.

The officials said Aristide would not go to South Africa until after that country's general elections April 14, because President Thabo Mbeki's government believes it would be "politically unsettling."

There was no immediate response from South Africa, where opposition leaders have said the government should not support Aristide, once hailed as a champion of democracy but now accused of corruption and violence against his opponents.

Mbeki was among few international leaders to attend Haiti's bicentennial independence celebrations this year, and is known to get on well with Aristide.
The Jamaican officials, who spoke outside a Caribbean summit that is to discuss the exiled leader's plans, said Aristide would not be taking up offers for permanent sanctuary from Venezuela and temporary asylum from Nigeria.
Did Aristide really agree to go, or is Jamaica pushing him out the door? Fact is, I'll believe that Aristide intends to settle into exile in South Africa when he's there for two whole years -- the end of his term -- without saying anything about returning to Haiti.


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