New-Duvalierist Revolt in Haiti 1991-1994

[ 1991 - 1994 ]

Aristide's bold and populist reforms rankled the neo-Duvalierists -- those sympathetic to the recently ousted dictatorial regime of the Duvalier family -- especially the powerful military whose members launched a coup d'etat on September 29, 1991. Next day, Raoul Cedras (1949-) and his troops captured Aristide (later granted safe passage to Venezuela), established a three-man ruling junta and assumed control of the radio and television. The military violently suppressed all street protests and enforced strict curfews. Within weeks of the coup, about 500 people had been killed in armed confrontations. The United States and the European Community suspended economic aid to Haiti, while the Organization of American States (OAS) tried to isolate the ruling junta and demanded Aristide's return to power. Aristide urged the UN Security Council to help restore democracy. However, US support for him was waning amid reports of alleged human rights violations during his tenure. Many countries, including the US, imposed a trade embargo but it was unevenly enforced. As economic hardships and worsening human rights abuses at home forced thousands of Haitians to seek refuge in neighboring countries, the OAS and the UN mediated several agreements to restore democracy to Haiti. Only the Governor's Island Accord in New York on July 3, 1993, negotiated directly between Aristide and Cedras for the former's return to power, had any hope of succeeding. However, its implementation was derailed by growing right-wing violence and repression in Haiti and different US policies. Responding to pressure, the US government agreed (under the UN Security Council's Resolution 940) to lead an international military team to end the crisis in Haiti. Finally, Haitian military leaders stepped down, and on October 15, 1994, Aristide finally returned home to resume office.

Related Conflicts

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