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US accused of training Haitian rebels in Dominican Republic

HAVANA, March 29 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States armed and trained in the Dominican Republic the groups that rose against former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a preliminary report issued in the Dominican Republic indicated Monday.
This provisional conclusion was reached by the Investigation Commission on Haiti, formed by religious persons and lawyers of several nations and created in 1991 by the former US Secretary of Justice Ramsey Clark.

"200 soldiers of the US Special Forces arrived in the DominicanRepublic, with the authorization of Dominican President Hipolito Mejia, as a part of the military operation to train Haitian rebels," declared the commission when unveiling the report in the Dominican capital Santo Domingo.

Priest Luis Barrios and lawyer Briant Concannon, both members of the "independent" commission, presented the preliminary resultsof the investigation that contradicted the Dominican authorities which had previously considered "surrealistic and oneiric" the delivery of US guns to Haitian rebels in their national soil, as some accusations stated.

The report said that Aristide reiterated to the commission he "had not resigned to the presidency of Haiti and was kidnapped lastMarch 1 by the government of the United States" to remove him of power in the face of the rebel insurrection.

A member of the commission, Teresa Gutierrez, wondered "how therebel leaders could train and arm in the Dominican Republic if thegovernment of Mejia assured several times to his Haitian counterpart Aristide that he would tolerate no guerrilla movement"in his territories.

Barrios said at a press conference that the commission had a "countless number of reports" proving that the Haitian rebels were armed and trained in Dominican military camps located in the eastern locality of San Isidro and the western regions of Haina and Neiba.

They also mentioned that rebel Guy Philippe was detained twice but "immediately released" in the Dominican Republic, in December 2001 and May 2003, while the insurgent leader Louis-Jodel Chamblain "was photographed" disguised as a Dominican police.

The most scandalous case was the release of the Haitian rebel Jean Robert after his followers kidnapped 16 Dominicans to demand,successfully, his liberation despite his connections to the murderof the two Dominican soldiers in the northwestern province of Dajabon on Feb. 14.

The commission that interviewed Aristide in the Central AfricanRepublic, where he went into exiled after he "resigned," will present the definitive report to the US Congress, the Dominican government, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom), which has not recognized yet the new Haitian regime.

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-03/30/content_1390551.htm