Aristide Seeks to Return to Haiti

Exiled former prez offers to help after earthquake
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Jan 15, 2010 4:40 AM CST
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former president of Haiti, offered to return from exile to help with the rescue effort.    (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Haiti's exiled former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, offered today to return to his earthquake- stricken homeland to aid relief efforts. Aristide, ousted by a rebellion in 2004, told reporters in South Africa that he and his wife were willing to organize an airplane carrying medical supplies—and themselves—to travel to Haiti. "We feel deeply that we should be there, in Haiti, trying our best to prevent death,” he told the Telegraph.

His return could be risky. The move may be seen as politically opportunistic, an attempt to mobilize grief-stricken supporters. Even if he were to be welcomed by his erstwhile allies, the current administration, led by Rene Preval, would not be pleased about his return, say observers. Aristide did not take questions from the press, so it's unclear how and when he'd make the trip.

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