Haiti clashes turn deadly

August 30th, 2019

Category: 苏州半永久

Supporters of presidential candidate Rene Preval set up roadblocks and stormed a hotel to demand he be declared the winner.


Television pictures showed the lifeless body of a man wearing a bloodied t-shirt showing Mr Preval, and several people interviewed by the station blamed UN peacekeepers — in particular, Jordanian troops.

However UN mission spokesman David Wimhurst denied that peacekeepers were involved in the incident, saying while the peacekeepers were at the site of the incident, near the international airport, “they only fired two shots in the air.”

“It is impossible that they shot anybody, we have strict orders to only shoot in the air,” he said, blaming the casualties on “unknown persons.”

Senior Haitian police official Michael Lucius confirmed to AFP that they had been informed on one death.

The incident comes as the prospect of a second round runoff vote firms.

With nearly 90 percent of votes counted, Mr Preval reportedly had 48.7 percent — just short of the 50 percent required for an outright victory.

Mr Preval, a former president and ally of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is leading more than 30 presidential candidates.

Protests in capital

Massive crowds of protesters took to the streets of Port-au-Prince Monday, on setting up flaming barricades and demanding that Mr Preval be declared president.

The death reportedly occurred in the Tabarre neighbourhood, where witnesses said Jordanian UN troops in a jeep opened fire on protesters.

Meanwhile in the Petionville neighbourhood, thousands of people descended on the Montana Hotel, which is being used as an election centre, however no violence was reported.

The UN mission, known as MINUSTAH, deployed armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles, as well as helicopters throughout the capital, while UN special envoy Juan Gabriel Valdez held talks with Mr Preval, who returned to the capital from his hometown of Marmelade.

MINUSTAH was deployed in Haiti in 2004 after Jean Bertrand Aristide resigned the presidency and fled the country as it descended into chaos.

Since then, the force has lost nine of its men to violence in Haiti, while residents of the capital’s violent slums have accused MINUSTAH of killing numerous civilians.

The Brazilian general who commanded the force, Urano Texeira da Matta Baceilar, committed suicide in January, amid mounting criticism of the peacekeepers.

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Celso Amorim has asked his US counterpart, Condoleezza Rice, to arrange a UN Security Council meeting on the Haiti tensions.

Voting irregularities

Meanwhile about 125,000 of the 2.2 million votes cast have been declared invalid due to irregularities.

Protesters have claimed that results are fraudulent and Mr Preval won the poll fairly and squarely.

The electoral council had said final results would be made public on Sunday but are yet to release the results.

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