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Aristide reported signing formal resignation
www.chinaview.cn 2004-03-09 00:29:36

    BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhuanet) -- The French foreign ministry said Tuesday that Haiti's ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide had signed a formal letter of resignation and that a UN assessment team was expected to arrive in Haiti on Tuesday to prepare for a broad UN peacekeeping mission in the Caribbean country.

    "Constitutional legality was respected. Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned. His letter of resignation was formally put into effect,"said Herve Ladsous, spokesman for the French foreign ministry.

    Ladsous made these remarks in response to Aristide's call for "peaceful resistance" in Haiti after Supreme Court chief Boniface Alexandre was officially sworn in Monday as Haiti's interim president.

    Aristide, who was forced to leave Haiti on Feb. 29 and in exilein Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, insisted on Monday that he was still Haiti's president.

    "I am the elected president and I remain the elected president," Aristide said in his first public appearance in Bangui since arriving, calling his supporters to launch a peaceful resistance in the country.

    Alexandre's inauguration on Monday was accompanied by a new wave of looting sweeping the capital Port-au-Prince.

    In his first presidential speech, Alexandre appealed for "national reconciliation, the establishment of a climate of peace and security for all and an emergency plan to counter hunger and poverty and to improve health."

    He also noted that the re-establishment of security and the urgent launch of a humanitarian security plan were his primary objectives.

    While the leader was sworn in, a mob looted the industrial parknear Port-au-Prince's airport. Gangs armed with machetes threatened passenger cars and reporters.

    In order to help restore stability and security in the turmoiled Caribbean country, a UN assessment team was expected to arrive in Haiti on Tuesday.

    UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said the team will prepare for a broad UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, which was authorized by the UN Security Council in a resolution adopted on March 1 and is expected to be deployed by June 1.

    The team will help determine the size and composition of the mission, in terms of troops, police and others, said Eckhard.

    Haiti's rebel leader Guy Philippe warned Monday that he will reunite his followers and take up weapons again if the international peacekeepers do not disarm militant loyalists of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

    Philippe was quoted by the Haitian radio station as saying thatSunday's attack, which took place in Haiti's capital city of Port-au-Prince, would not have happened if his men had not been asked to lay down their weapons.

    Six people, including a Spanish journalist, were killed when gunmen opened fire at thousands of Haitians celebrating the fall of Aristide outside the National Palace on Sunday. It was the mostserious violence since Aristide was forced to leave Haiti on Feb. 29. Enditem

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