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US General Warns No Tolerance for Violence in Haiti - 2004-03-14


The top U.S. military commander says foreign peacekeepers will not tolerate violence in Haiti, as they work to restore order in the troubled country.

Chairman of the U-S Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, spoke Saturday during a brief visit to Haiti to meet with U.S. troops serving in the multinational peacekeeping force.

His visit followed Friday's death of two Haitians in a firefight with U.S. Marines near the presidential palace.

Military officials say the Marines came under attack late Friday in a district considered to be fiercely loyal to ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Meanwhile, Mr. Aristide is preparing to fly to Jamaica from the Central African Republic, where he has been in exile since resigning from the presidency and fleeing Haiti two weeks ago.

The former leader plans to be in Jamaica for eight-to-10 weeks. Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue has denounced Jamaica's decision as "an unfriendly act," saying it has stoked tensions in Haiti.

Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson insists Mr. Aristide is not seeking asylum. Mr. Patterson says Mr. Aristide wants to return temporarily to the Caribbean with his wife, and to be reunited with their two young children, who are currently in the United States.

Mr. Aristide has accused the United States of forcing him to resign. U.S. officials have strongly denied the accusation.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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