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Haiti - Elections : A precarious calm following trouble in Ouanaminthe

Port-au-Prince, 26 January 2006 [AlterPresse] --- A precarious calm has returned to Ouanaminthe, the border town in North-East Haiti, after two days of tension as René Préval, the Lespwa presidential candidate, continued his campaign in the north of the country.

The situation remains volatile in the town, where two armed groups, one supporting Préval, the other hostile to him, could clash at any moment, according to sources on the ground.

According to the information received by AlterPresse, the risk of armed
confrontation casts doubt on the possibility of holding elections in Ouanaminthe and other parts of the North-East, if the UN are unable to neutralise the armed gangs.

A number of people were wounded during the last two days of violence
that took place on the fringes of Préval’s visit, reports the Dominican agency, Espacinsular.

According to this agency, Préval made a short visit to Ouanaminthe on 25 January where he briefly addressed his supporters.

The former president who is campaigning for a second stint, was accompanied by a number of security guards and police officers. [gp ca apr 26/01/06]


Translated from French by Charles Arthur for the Haiti Support Group