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Ex-soldiers may enter Haiti conflict

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Former soldiers who led a deadly revolt against ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide gathered in Haiti’s capital Wednesday, saying reinforcements were coming to help end violence that has killed at least 48 people.

Those advancing rebels intended to provide security in Port-au-Prince, former Army Master Sgt. Joseph Jean-Baptiste said in a broadcast. The development threatens to stir conflict with U.N. peacekeepers and armed Aristide militants.

More than 30 men in military fatigues, some heavily armed, gathered in an apartment in Petionville, a hillside suburb overlooking Port-au-Prince. Rebel leader Remissainthe Ravix, a former army major, said more reinforcements were on their way. The core rebel force estimated at 200 has been joined by many recruits. Port-au-Prince has been beset by shootouts and beheadings since a Sept. 30 demonstration marking the 1991 coup that overthrew Aristide the first time.


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