'Baby Doc' offers 'regret' to Haitians

2011-01-24 11:01

kalahari.com

  • Haiti
    Read all about the worlds first black republic. Now R344.95
    buy now
Port-au-Prince - Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, in his first public statement since his surprise return from exile, offered his sympathies on Friday to those who suffered abuses under his rule.

But Duvalier, 59, who faces charges of corruption and crimes against humanity filed since his unexpected reappearance in his earthquake-ravaged Caribbean homeland on Sunday, stopped short of making a clear apology for the killings and torture that occurred during his 15 years in power from 1971-1986.

"I take this opportunity to express once again my profound sadness for those of my fellow citizens who genuinely see themselves as victims under my government," Duvalier said.

Clad in a dark blue suit and seeming frail, his remarks came in a prepared statement that he read to journalists at a private home on a mountainside overlooking the capital Port-au-Prince, in an enclave of Haiti's tiny but powerful elite.

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere has been awash with speculation about the reasons for Duvalier's return since he stepped off an Air France flight on Sunday.

It has added to political uncertainty fuelled by a protracted electoral impasse in Haiti, as it also grapples with a national cholera epidemic and slow-going efforts to recover from a catastrophic earthquake a year ago.

Echoing brief comments made on his arrival, Duvalier said he had returned "to show solidarity in this extremely difficult period of the nation's life".

Accused of plundering state coffers

Apart from a vague reference to helping "to rebuild the country", he failed to detail any specific causes or endeavours, however.

Although it was billed as a long-awaited first news conference, Duvalier took no questions from reporters at Friday's gathering. A crowd of about 100 supporters on hand for the event sang "Duvalier, the country is yours, do whatever you want", to a song punctuated by beating drums.

Human rights groups accuse Duvalier of plundering state coffers and of continuing the reign of terror of his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who died in 1971.

In addition to his remarks about "victims" of the bygone era when he ruled Haiti like his personal fiefdom, Duvalier voiced sympathy for many supporters who he said had been targeted by lynch mobs when he fled in the face of a popular uprising in 1986.

"Thousands were assassinated cowardly, burned, grilled, burned with tires," he said. He did not elaborate, but urged an end to political bloodletting in a land that has suffered an unenviable list of woes since a slave revolt threw off French rule more than 200 years ago.

"When you make sure that the bell of national reconciliation resounds in all hearts ... and in each district, neighbourhood and home, then we will rapidly reach the day where all of Haiti's children, men and women, in the country and in the diaspora, will be able to march hand in hand without exclusion and to participate together in the rebirth of Haiti," Duvalier said.

Read more on:    haiti
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Oscar Pistorius
 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals
Traffic & Train Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.