This Day in History: Haiti’s Prime Minister Appeals For Help to End Revolt
On this day in Caribbean history, on February 17, 2004, Haitian Prime Minister, Yvon Neptune, made a plea for international to help end the violent uprising against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, which killed at least 57 people.
Neptune made his plea after former soldiers joined the rebellion, resulting in the burning of a police station, killing three police officials, freeing the imprisoned, and seizing Hinche, a city 70 miles northeast of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.
Witnesses said Louis- Jodel Chamblain, a death-sentenced former soldier and leader of paramilitary group FRAPH, led the rebellion. FRAPH maimed and killed hundreds of Aristude supporters during the military dictatorship between 1991-1994.
Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State during that time, told CNN reporters there needs to be a “political solution” and only then would nations offer police presence.
United States in the past has staged three military interventions to the island nation.
Dominique de Villepin, then French Foreign Minister, called a meeting to discuss the risks of sending peacekeepers to the former French Colony, which was home to 2,000 French citizens at the time.
Ron Redmond, then spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said representatives were meeting with U.S. and Caribbean officials to discuss how to handle the Haitian rebellion.