AHP September 8, 2004 12:30 PM
Guy Philippe criticizes the partisan performance of the current government and denounces its disarmament policy which he calls discriminatory
Port-au-Prince, September 8, 2004 (AHP)- The head of the Front of National Reconstruction, Guy Philippe, voiced disappointment Wednesday at the performance of the interim government, which inherited power in March.
The former rebel chief who took up arms in February to reinforce the campaign by the former opposition to Aristide, said that six months after the departure of President Aristide nothing has been done to ease the misery of the population.
He deplored that the provisional government thought it was a good idea to focus first on the wealthiest among the population by exempting from taxes for a period of three years businesses who say they suffered losses
during the events of January and February.
According to Guy Philippe, the current authorities should have placed a higher priority on the sectors that are facing real economic hardship, such as the small shopkeepers, the cooperative members who lost their savings when the coops became insolvent, and the demobilized military forces.
"The injustices must be stopped and there must be work to improve living conditions for the population", declared Guy Philippe. He added that he did not risk his life to see those who are now in power doing exactly the same thing as those they were denouncing yesterday.
he did not rule out the possibility of taking up arms again if it becomes necessary.
Guy Philippe also denounced the provisional government's "discriminatory policy" on the question of the illegally armed groups across the country.
"Whenever the interim authorities speak of disarmament, they automatically focus their attention on the populist districts such as Cité Sol
eil and Bel-Air, Guy Philippe lamented, while they should think just as much, he said, about disarming those he called "delinquents wearing ties".
That is the way to rid the country of illegal weapons, he said.
Guy Philippe denounced the fact that the February 29 government allowed more than 10 people to die in the armed conflict of Saint-Martin before sending a police patrol to the scene, while in the posh neighborhoods all it takes is for a firecracker to go off before an entire contingent of police and foreign soldiers is scrambled.
Concerning the armed events of February, Guy Philippe said that the front in Gonaives received financial support from some local sectors which he did not describe further.
As far as his own campaign is concerned, it began in the Dominican Republic, he said. He added that he too received financial support.
Guy Philippe indicated that contrary to what many people are thinking, his men do not possess a great number of weapons. "Our wa
r was more of a psychological effort", he said.
Following the sudden departure of President Aristide on February 29, several foreign sectors had affirmed that they had pressured the Haitian president to leave the country to avoid a blood bath.
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