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U.N. Lifts Haiti Sanctions to Welcome Aristide

October 16, 1994|From Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — The Security Council welcomed the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti on Saturday by lifting its crippling sanctions against the Caribbean nation.

The vote was 14 in favor with one abstention, Brazil.

"Our hopes and our prayers are with the people of Haiti as they begin to rebuild their country," U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright told the council. "To the people of Haiti we say: We are with you and we will help you."

Security Council President David Hannay of Britain said sanctions would be lifted at 12:01 a.m. today.

"Now that President Aristide has returned to Haiti, sanctions will be lifted," the resolution said.

The council "expresses its confidence that the people of Haiti can now rebuild their country with dignity and consolidate democracy," the resolution said. It also reaffirmed "the willingness of the international community to provide assistance to the people of Haiti."

Aristide returned to Haiti on Saturday after three years and 15 days in exile.

The council said Sept. 29 that the sanctions would be lifted as soon as Aristide returned to power.

The United Nations imposed sanctions against Haiti in June, 1993, and tightened them four months later, measures aimed at forcing military rulers from power.

The sanctions barred all oil shipments and trade with Haiti except food, medicine and humanitarian supplies.

The sanctions also limited travel to and from Haiti and froze overseas assets of Haiti's military leaders and their families.

Haiti's army rulers resigned last week under a Sept. 18 agreement negotiated by a mission led by former President Jimmy Carter. The accord helped forestall an imminent U.S. invasion and led to the peaceful deployment of U.S. troops in Haiti on Sept. 19.

The council had voted July 31 to authorize the use of force to oust the Haitian military and restore Aristide to power.

Brazil abstained on that vote, saying it could not agree to the use of force. It abstained again on Saturday's vote saying that approving the resolution would give tacit endorsement to the U.S. intervention in Haiti.

A 6,000-member U.N. peacekeeping force is expected to replace U.S. soldiers in Haiti in the coming months.

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