Since the removal of Jean Bertrand Aristide, the interim government of Haiti has found restoring order and peace to the tiny island country to be an
extremely difficult mission. In what is considered to be a failure on the part of the new government, to provide basic security and order to its
citizens, thousands of Haiti's poorest live in total anarchy. Daily shootings, beheadings and kidnappings occur, yet in all the fear and insecurity,
Haitians try to live a "normal" life in increasing dangers. Government officials, Aid workers and UN peacekeepers cannot even offer help to those
who need it the most. The interim government blames Aristide loyalists and Aristide for funding the rebellion which has crippled the country from
recovery. Rebels roam freely and control at least 3 of Haiti's largest cities. This is Haitian present and future and most likely the future of
In the last two months, warring gangs -- and what many slum residents claim are government death squads -- have trapped tens of thousands of Haiti's
poorest citizens in a deadly state of anarchy where rule is determined by which groups of young men have the biggest guns.
Neither the police, nor U.N. peacekeepers headquartered a mile away, enter the area for more than brief incursions. And desperately needed
humanitarian aid cannot get in.
The suffocating insecurity is just one sign that the interim government installed following the Feb. 29 ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has
so far failed to gain any significant grip on authority in this desperately impoverished nation.
In the capital, wealthy people are routinely kidnapped in broad daylight. Shooting regularly empties the streets downtown and brings business to a
halt. Gangs of different political bents freely roam, if not control, three of the nation's four largest cities. And there are ever more accounts of
people in police uniforms executing political opponents, kidnapping for ransom and terrorizing neighborhoods loyal to Aristide's Lavalas Family
''We have a government that has no unity, no leadership,'' said Jean Claude Bajeux, a human rights activist who supported the overthrow of
Aristide but is pained at recent events. ``Corruption is everywhere.''
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The human factor in this tragedy is overwhelmingly sad and unfortunately all the cards seem to be in place for a similar situation to occur in Iraq
after January elections. A mother eating dirt in order to produce breast milk to nurse her child. Children and entire families living in mud. Men
killed, injured and locked up without trials or hearings for reasons like having dreadlocks or playing a drum in a political or getting injured in
crossfire. In this tiny island nation, an important parallel can be made to the situation in Iraq, we can only hope that attention is being paid to
Haiti's troubles so that the same doesn't happen in Iraq.
[edit on 11-29-2004 by worldwatcher]