Haiti. According to
Countryaah official website, the political crisis in Haiti triggered by the
elections in April 1997 continued throughout the year.
Congress repeatedly refused to approve the prime ministerial
candidate presented by President René Préval, which is why
Haiti has been without government for more than 2 years. The
opposition party OPL (Organization du Peuple en Lutte)
claimed that Préval was trying to maneuver back President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. The crisis worsened in
March when OPL Senator Yves Toussaint was murdered,
according to OPL on the instigation of Préval and Aristide.
On March 8, however, an agreement was reached which meant
that Jacques Édouard Alexis was approved as prime minister
against the formation of a new electoral council and new
parliamentary elections to be held in December. Already in
July, the 1997 election results were formally canceled.
However, no elections were held at the end of the year, but
In May 2004, more than 100 died and hundreds disappeared
as a result of heavy rains in the southeastern part of the
country. Thousands are becoming homeless in the border
region of the Dominican Republic, and the magnitude of the
disaster is increasing as a result of food shortages and
poor sanitation. The United States and Canada send troops in
support of the rescue operation.
In July, a number of countries and multilateral
organizations agreed on a reconstruction program worth more
than $ 1 billion. US $ over the following 2 years. The
rebuild must be funded by flexible credits and donations.
Thirty countries and 32 international organizations
participated in the conference in Washington. On the basis
of a report prepared by the EU, the Inter-American
Development Bank, the UN and the World Bank, it was decided
that the funds received should be used to improve security
forces, health, electricity supply, and strengthen the
social and political sphere. Even before the conference, the
United States had committed to contributing $ 232 million.
US $ until 2006. Mexico would provide training to Haiti
police and also offer medical assistance. Haiti's Prime
Minister Latortue declared,
Haiti remains America's poorest country with an annual
average income of less than US $ 400. Only 10% of the
population has access to electricity. The reconstruction
program will create 31,000 jobs within the public sector and
with the collection of garbage in the urban areas. In
addition, 1500 schools will be established.
In September, Hurricane Jeanne cost 600 dead in Haiti's
northwest, and 80,000 were affected by the hurricane.
Government representative in Artibonite, Elie Cantave stated
that over 500 - predominantly children - were killed in
Gonaives alone. Gonaives is the most important city in the
north of the country and connects north to south. As a
result of the floods, the country was largely cut off from
the outside world. Cantave explained during a press
conference: "The rescue team continues to find the bodies in
the houses of this city that were not prepared for a tragedy
of this magnitude at all."
The representative of the United Nations Force in Haiti
(MINUSTAH), Toussaint Congo Doudou stated that all figures
were preliminary and that the disaster could be even worse.
The interim Prime Minister Latortue declared 3 days of
country grief and asked for international assistance to the
80,000 people without food or water in Gonaives. He himself
visited the area with his interior minister, but did not
reach the worst affected areas due to the destruction of the
The main roads in the area were transformed into
uncontrolled rivers. Commander in chief of the UN
Stabilization Force in the country, Heleno Rubeiro Pereira
explained how helicopters could see half of Gonaive's
underwater and how thousands of families stayed on the roofs
of their houses hoping to be rescued. The floods hit the
country so much harder because it is almost 100% deforested.
One year after the coup, the transitional government had
failed completely - despite its total backing from
Washington. The violence prevailed and security was
non-existent. In the streets there were corpses, and armed
gangs of soldiers who had been demobilized 10 years ago
could move freely around the cities. Many members of the
Lavalas movement had been killed, schools were closed,
hospitals could not function and in many places the roads
were no longer usable.
By May 2005, 10,000 Haitians had been killed and over
1,000 jailed - most Aristide supporters. According to a
joint statement by several of the country's social mass
organizations, local leaders and supporters of Aristida are
at constant risk.