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Haiti's New Cabinet Meets to Discuss Disarming Gunmen

March 25, 2004|From Associated Press

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti's new Cabinet met for the first time Wednesday to discuss the urgent need to disarm gunmen in a nation terrorized by rebels, street gangs and escaped convicts despite the presence of thousands of U.S.-led peacekeepers.

Haitian police officers are among those accused of fueling the turmoil, with a report Wednesday that five officers had been detained on suspicion of killing five supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party.

The National Coalition for Haitian Rights said that, according to victims' relatives, the officers rounded up and executed the men, ages 17 to 24, over the weekend. The officers were detained Monday, but no charges had been filed.

Police have also been accused of brutalizing opponents of Aristide, who fled the country Feb. 29.

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