Haitians gather to jeer at UN accord

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The Independent Online
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Lieutenant-General Raoul Cedras, Haiti's military chief, returned home on Saturday to a choreographed airport celebration by hundreds of Haitians, many strongly opposed to the man Gen Cedras has agreed to restore to power.

'Bravo General] Thank you for your defence of national sovereignty]' read a banner hung outside the airport.

About 200 people, most of them plainclothes police, later gathered outside army headquarters, yelling insults at journalists and members of a UN human rights mission, as well as chants against the exiled president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

'Aristide no] Democracy yes]' they shouted in response to Gen Cedras's agreement on Friday to resign, allowing the return on 30 October of Fr Aristide, overthrown in a military coup in September 1991.

Fr Aristide signed the UN plan late on Saturday after receiving guarantees for his safety in Haiti and assurances that the UN would lift its worldwide oil embargo only after his prime minister assumes office.

Diplomats at the UN talks said that Fr Aristide had earlier demanded that all the officers who overthrew him be expelled from the army. But under the UN plan only Gen Cedras will resign. Fr Aristide will appoint a military commander, who will re-assign those involved in the coup, including Colonel Joseph Michel Francois, the Port-au- Prince police chief. After parliament accepts Fr Aristide's choice of prime minister, the embargo will be lifted and Fr Aristide will return.

A key test will be whether the military allow Fr Aristide to make a TV address to Haitians to explain the accords in the next few days.