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U.S. To Send Military Team To Haiti

HeadlineFeb 20, 2004

The Pentagon announced Thursday it is sending a military team from Southern Command of up to four people to go to Haiti within the next two days. The U.S. is also withdrawing dozens of Peace Corps personnel attached to the embassy and encouraged other Americans to leave the island. Haiti has suffered nearly two weeks of violence after gangs and leaders of the 1991 coup staged an armed uprising against the elected government of President Aristide. A spokesperson from Southern Command said the military team is going to advise the U.S. embassy on security issues–not to assist the Haitian government. The U.S. has so far rejected pleas from the Aristide government for help to end the violence. Washington is also sending representatives to join an international delegation of senior envoys to press Aristide to reach a political compromise with his foes. On Thursday Aristide said “I am ready to give my life if that is what it takes to defend my country.” Meanwhile Guy Philippe, a former Haitian police chief who now commands the rebels, vowed his forces would take Aristide’s palace if he does not soon resign.

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