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24724: Roberts (pub) Haitian Police Kill Ravix
M.E. Roberts <meroberts firstname.lastname@example.org>
April 10, 2005
Haiti Police Kill Prominent Rebel Leader
By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN
Associated Press Writer
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Haitian police on Saturday shot and
killed a prominent rebel leader who helped force former President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide into exile last year, officials said.
Police killed Remissainthe Ravix during a shootout in an industrial
area in the capital of Port-au-Prince, said U.N. civilian police
spokesman Dan Moskaluk. The violence was the latest in a series of
clashes that have pitted police and U.N. peacekeepers against
ex-soldiers and street gangs.
Early Saturday, Haitian and U.N. police were searching for suspects
in Friday's shooting of a U.N. civilian employee, who was lightly
injured, when they saw about 10 armed men fleeing an area in the
Delmas neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Moskaluk said.
Police cornered the men and began exchanging fire, killing Ravix,
Moskaluk said. He said it was unclear whether Ravix was armed. No
other casualties were reported.
Ravix was one of four key leaders of the bloody three-week revolt
that led to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ouster on Feb. 29,
2004. The barrel-chested rebel, who often appeared before reporters
in camouflage fatigues, was a sergeant in the Haitian army that
Aristide disbanded in 1995.
Ravix's death could stoke anger among former soldiers who refuse to
lay down their weapons and control several rural towns, U.N.
``We expect that there might be retaliation by the remainder of this
group,'' Moskaluk said.
After Aristide went into exile in South Africa, Ravix and other
ex-soldiers came into increasing conflict with authorities and were
criticized by human rights groups for attacks on Aristide supporters.
In October, Ravix was among about 30 armed men who announced they
would help control fighting in Port-au-Prince. Holding a sword, Ravix
showed a poster with a list of alleged pro-Aristide criminals and
declared: ``I will arrest all of them.''
His death came as gunfire erupted elsewhere during U.N. peacekeepers'
patrols in the slum of Cite Soleil, killing a 15-year-old girl and
leaving two other children wounded.
The troops returned fire after being shot at by armed men who
approached them in the middle of a crowd, said Lt. Col. Elouafi
Boulbars, a spokesman for U.N. military forces in Haiti.
U.N. officials say gangs or members of Haiti's disbanded army could
be behind recent attacks.
The 7,400-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission has increasingly
confronted ex-soldiers and pro- and anti- Aristide street gangs amid
concerns violence could threaten elections in October and November.
But many in the Cite Soleil slum complain of unnecessary shootings by
Ravix's death comes days before a U.N. Security Council visit to
Haiti to assess conditions for the elections. More than 400 people
have been killed since September in clashes between gangs, former
soldiers, police and peacekeepers.
Copyright: Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005