Ex-soldiers end standoff in Haiti

Former soldiers who had seized a building in northern Haiti changed out of their uniforms and peacefully filed out yesterday, ending a tense standoff of nearly 24 hours after negotiations with government officials.





The protesters were seeking back wages and the reinstatement of the Haitian armed forces, which were disbanded by former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1995.



UN peacekeepers and Haitian police loaded the protesters onto two yellow school buses to take them out of the area.



Authorities released no details of the negotiations, which included Interior Minister Paul Antonine Bien-Aime and ex-Army Colonel Jean-Claude Jeudi, who was not among the protesters. It was not immediately known what ended the protest or whether the government granted any concessions to the former soldiers.



The talks took place as UN peacekeepers in armored vehicles and Haitian police surrounded the former Cap-Hatien prison, which is now used as a music school.



UN police spokesman Fred Blaise said a second soldiers' protest in a former barracks in Ouanaminthe, a northern Haitian town on the border with the Dominican Republic, had ended as well.



An adviser to President Rene Preval, Patrick Elie, said the protest was "political manipulation" to keep pressure on Preval, who already this year has faced protesters trying to storm the national palace and the Senate's removal of his prime minister, who has not been replaced.



"I believe (the protest) is part of this campaign to put pressure on a government that it is at its weakest moment in some years," Elie told The Associated Press.



Senator Youri Latortue, who has been pushing for the creation of a new Haitian army, said he has not given money or assistance to the ex-soldiers and that he did not support their tactics.



But he told the AP that he, and not Preval's administration, was best suited to deal with the soldiers and prevent an escalation of the protests.



"They trust that we in the Parliament, we fight to defend their rights," Latortue said.



The Senate was scheduled to vote yesterday on the president's third nominee for prime minister, Michele Pierre-Louis. But the vote was again postponed because only 15 senators attended the vote, one less than needed for a quorum.



Preval held talks on Tuesday with legislators over the inclusion of various political parties in Pierre-Louis' proposed Cabinet in an effort to ensure their approval of her appointment.



The 9,000-strong UN peacekeeping force has provided the country's only real security force since the army was disbanded.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Application Developer / Software Developer

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

Recruitment Genius: Brand Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you wish to be part of an exciting journey ...

Anna Woodward: Anna Woodward

£25,000: Anna Woodward: My client is a rapidly expanding global company who sp...

Beverley James: Transactions Manager

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower