Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Hti: Serious jones for Aristide

A notorious Haitian paramilitary leader who helped lead a bloody revolt that ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide says he will kill the former president if he ever returns from exile.

"If Aristide comes tomorrow I will have 15,000, 20,000 Haitians armed to fight him and kill him as he killed my wife," Louis Jodel Chamblain, accused of heading death squads during years of dictatorship and military rule in the late 1980s and early 1990s, told Reuters.

The former army officer convicted of murder said in an interview late Saturday at a plush, well-guarded hilltop retreat just outside Port-au-Prince that he sees himself as a patriotic leader of the Haitian people on a mission to stamp out Aristide's following.

Chamblain, who returned from a decade in exile in neighboring Dominican Republic to lead last month's uprising, accuses Aristide of ordering thugs to murder his seven-months pregnant wife in 1991 and vows he will never let another like him lead Haiti.

"I came to fight to get rid of this criminal from power to put an end to drug trafficking and terrorism (by Aristide supporters) in this country," he added. "I will not let (gangs loyal to Aristide) terrorize my people. I call on them to lay down arms."

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