Who Benefits from Aristide's Return to Haiti?

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Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Who Benefits from Aristide's Return to Haiti?

Post by Charles Arthur » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:10 am

Who Benefits from Aristide's Return to Haiti?

Friday 24 February 2006

By Daniel Simidor

Submitted to AlterPresse on February 23, 2006

Aristide's decision to return to play the Nelson Mandela of Haitian politics, even before Preval's inauguration, is very destabilizing. Even in a country with such strong and stable institutions, Mr. Mandela's status as paramount chief of South African politics places him above Mbeki - sort of the relationship between the CEO (Mbeki) and the Chairman of the Board (Mandela) in many corporations. Fortunately for South Africa, the real Mandela has retired for good and gone back to private life.

Aristide on the other hand is actively undermining Preval's authority, trying to usurp his popular mandate even while claiming to respect him as president. "The Haitian people saw the vote as a non-violent way to have me back,&
quot; Aristide proclaims from his exile in South Africa. "It was a vote for me, of course. The people said it clearly, people voted the way they did because they want me back."

Let's face it, Aristide means trouble. If his sole intention were "to continue to invest in education," he would have waited at the very least after the investiture of the new government to make his announcement. With this move, Aristide clearly intends to back Preval into a power-sharing situation where he will keep the upper hand. The agenda is no longer what Preval could or couldn't do for Haiti, but how much power Aristide and his followers will be able to wrestle for themselves.

Sadly, with the new elections and with Preval as the new president, Haiti finally had a chance to begin addressing the pressing issues of social justice and social peace at the heart of the current crisis. Different social strata were beginning to move, however grudgingly, toward political consensus, or at least towa
rd some truce. A new spring would soon blossom for the "first Black Republic...the poorest country in the Americas," as the French Le Monde puts it.

But Aristide had no intention of Haiti going anywhere without him. And yet the man who threatened in his New Year message not to allow "them" to replace his "guts" with their "straw," is little more than a puppet in this macabre game where no one in Haiti, not even Aristide himself, is likely to be a winner.

The big question then is who is pulling the strings? Those who don't want Preval's victory to go to his head? Those who don't want him to feel too independent, to show too much initiative? In other words, those who would allow Preval to be Haiti's new president only if he can be made to toe the line, if his government is divided and weak, dependent on the so-called international community for its survival?

The best way to keep those crazy dreams of sovereignty and human development from me
ssing with the program for Haiti, as outlined in the Interim Cooperation Framework (CCI) and other important documents and UN resolutions, is to keep Haitians at each other's throats. Aristide's return at this juncture accomplishes just that.

Daniel Simidor
Brooklyn, 2/23/06
danielsimidor@yahoo.com

Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Aristide - why won't he shut up?

Post by Charles Arthur » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:29 am

I would add that Aristide's headlong rush back into the international media spotlight also means that the legislative elections are being completely ignored, making the chances of vote-rigging and fraud in order to stop Lespwa candidates winning, all the easier...(see below). But the short term plans of one man are much more important, aren't they?


Lespwa (Hope) Senate candidate for the Southeast, Joseph Lambert, criticizes the method used by the CEP to count the votes. Lambert, who is in the lead in the partial results for his department, thinks that with the current calculation method no candidate will be elected in the first round of the legislative elections. (Metropole, 23 February)

Pa gen gro aktivité nan sant tabilasyon rezilta eleksyon yo SONAPI depi kèk jou akoz tout doné konsènan eleksyon lejislativ yo fin treté epi rantré nan òdinatè. Se kèk prosè vèbal ki te gen ti problèm operatè
yo ap fè yon dènye pase men sou yo. Nan yon vizit radyo Tele Ginen reyalize nan sant lan jounen mèkredi 22 fevriye a, ekip la konstate kontrèman ak nan debu operasyon yo operatè yo sanse lage pou kò yo san prezans youn nan otorite elektoral yo. Kantite kandida ak obsèvatè ki abitye vizite sant lan diminye. Kandida pou pòs depite sikonskripsyon Fon-Verèt/ Gantye sou banyè OPL Sanozier François ki tal founi je gade kòman operasyon yo ap dewoule di-l pa gen okenn dout lap rivé eli nan 2èm tou akoz difikilté ki te genyen nan dewoulman eleksyon yo nan zòn sa a 7 fevriye pase a. Ansyen depite 46èm lejislati a mande KEP a pran responsabilite-l devan nasyon an. 22-02--2006 [ Eric Solon Ulysse - Radyo Ginen ]

Plusieurs secteurs ont dénoncé le fait que le centre de tabulation (SONAPI) soit investi par des représentants du secteur des affaires alors que des représentants de partis politiques ou même des journalistes sont souvent empêchés d'y pénétrer. - AHP 21 février 2006 3:45 PM

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:16 am

I've predicted this and expected it from Aristide! It is not surprising. This is someone who really cares about Himself than anything else. Holding on to power is his motto.

I can find the right word to explain his statements which are not appropriate with our situation actual. Although, I agree that He should be back. But, the timing is wrong. And I also believe that He underestimates the forces behind his kidnapping to South Africa...

He is making a big mistake as always. Politics are not for everyone.

He could not keep a low-profile. For, He is Aristide, le complexe de Napoleon. Oh boy, we will see a different strategy from what is going on in Haiti the next week or so.

A suivre, gnb, 184 and IRI have a new plan!


Mache chEche pa dOmi san soupe (Sorry pwofesE pistach, I am not using my computer with accents)

leonel

Pitit Ginen

Post by Pitit Ginen » Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:39 am

Onè lakou a,

Mwen paka kwè bagay sa. Pou yon Ayisyen (Jean Bertran Aristide) deside tounnen nan peyi l apre ke sal trèt ak sanginè atranje fin kidnape l (se vre ke Aristide te bay espas pou sanginè etranje yo fè yon bagay konsa. Se kòm ou ta di ke ekzanp Lumumba a pa t sèvi Aristid kòm leson. Mwen kontinye paka imajine ke se blan sanginè ki ta p bay Aristid sekirite ann Ayiti... Kididonk, li patka jwenn Ayisyen li fè konfyans ase pou ba l sekirite...), pou nou jwenn Ayisyen ki kont sa. Nou ka wè ke moun ki kont Aristide tounnen yo pa gen okenn agiman serye yo ka kenbe. Yo jis gen yon pwoblèm pèsonèl ak endividi a. Men jan Jaf di l la : Ayiti se pou Ayisyen. Ke Aristide tounnen nan peyi l, epi se pèp la menm fwa sa ki pra l ba l sekirite.

Ou wè sa en. Men se pèp la sèl ki pou fwa sa pra l ka garanti sekirite Aristid, alòske avan li patka konprann ke se pèp la ki sèl fòs lè li òganize e deside goumen.

Pitit Ginen.

Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:30 am

Jaf wrote: [quote]This is really pitiful! So, I suppose until the white man declares that Aristide can come back home, Haitians should accept exile as a normal condition? Give me a freaking break folks! [/quote]
Jaf! it is not until you suppose!Aristide acknowledged that his return depend on Preval decision but also on the white man.

This is what he said:
Mr. Aristide said yesterday that:"I am ready to end what I called an unconstitutional exile, but the timing of my return is up to Mr. Preval, and I expect to hear soon when I could return home. "
The date of my return will emerge from consultations" among Mr. Preval, the United Nations, the Caribbean Community and his host, the South African government, he said. When asked whether he had spoken to Mr. Preval, Mr. Aristide said
, "It's a private issue."

This is not a matter of white man, this is about a consensus my brother!
I hope one day, in the near future that Aristide will come back home, but for this moment, his return should not be a priority or an exigency.
The new government needs to concentrate on reunite the social classes, building infrastructures, education, health, and jobs.
Jaf wrote: [quote]No, what we are witnessing here is the confusion of the same middle-class opportunists who always want to be on the "winning side" but never part of the struggle when the going gets rough. There is no easy short cut in this struggle. We will have to stand with the people all the way. In good days as well as bad days.[/quote]
I agree with you Jaf, and this is exactly what Preval has in his agenda, level the plain field and reunite the social classes.

Just stay put my brother!

Michel

Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Top election official backs original count

Post by Charles Arthur » Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:38 pm

Top election official backs original count

23 février 2006
Miami Herald
PABLO BACHELET

The leader of Haiti's electoral council surfaced in Washington and said the president-elect and others manipulated ballot counting changes.


WASHINGTON - A Haitian electoral official who fled abroad amid death threats complained Wednesday that President-elect René Préval manipulated tensions from the Feb. 7 ballot to avert a run-off.

Jacques Bernard, director general of the Provisional Electoral Council, made his first public appearance since he fled the country last week at a seminar on Haiti hosted by the U.S. Institute for Peace, a congressionally funded group that aims to resolve international conflicts.

Bernard defended the Feb. 7 presidential and parliamentary balloting as ''the best . . . for many, many years,'' although it was clouded by a painstakingly slow count,
a stunningly high number of blank ballots, the finding of ballots in a garbage dump and outbursts of street protests by Préval backers when they suspected his victory was being stolen.

Bernard complained that two council members incited the crowds to violence as the suspicions of manipulations spread.

''These two members of the board, they were criticizing the results even prior to the elections, because they did not want the elections,'' he said, later identifying them as Pierre-Richard Duchemin and Patrick Fequiere. Both have previously accused Bernard of mishandling election preparations.

THE COMPROMISE

Préval was holding just short of the 50 percent-plus one he needed to avoid a run-off against the second-place finisher when the council, fearing an explosion of violence, changed the way it counted the blank votes and gave him an outright victory.

Bernard told the gathering that Préval ''clearly'' won the vote, but fell short of the 50 percent mark. ``What happened . . .
is a clear manipulation on the part of two [board members] and Préval as a politician took advantage of the situation.''

Bernard said his farm house was looted and that he decided to leave after he was told that some people were looking to kill him. He hasn't decided if he will return to Haiti.

The controversial change in the way that blank votes were counted has given rise to concerns that the issue could become a hidden land mine in Haiti's future if Préval does not perform well as president and his critics start pushing to oust him.

IS ARISTIDE WELCOME ?

Meanwhile, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ousted amid a bloody rebellion in 2004, repeated from his exile in South Africa Wednesday that he was ready to return home, but said the timing was up to Préval.

''The date of my return will emerge from consultations'' among Préval, the United Nations, the Caribbean Community and his host, the South African government, Aristide said in an interview with international ne
ws agencies.

Asked about Aristide's comments, Préval Wednesday repeated his oft-stated position on the former president — that the Haitian constitutions forbids exile.

''Remember, you're talking to a president,'' he told reporters at a brief news conference. ``Do you respect the constitution ? The response isn't with me. It's with the constitution.''

But as before he also avoided saying outright that he would welcome back Aristide, who faces a slew of possible corruption charges under a report by government investigators alleging that he mismanaged tens of millions in government funds.

U.S. RESPONSE

The U.S. State Department was more clearly negative on the possibility of a return home by Aristide, a former priest popular with Haiti's poor majority but divisive politically.

''I'm not aware that the government of Haiti is eager or urging Aristide to come back,'' said State Department spokesman Adam Ereli. ``They've got a democracy to build . . . and the future is not t
he past. Aristide is from the past. We're looking to the future.''

During his news conference, Aristide congratulated the Haitian people and Préval, whom he called ''my president,'' and said the balloting ``indicates the road toward freedom and democracy and not toward coups d'etat.''

Aristide, who has been doing research and other work with a South African correspondence college, pledged to return to Haiti as a private citizen.

''I don't need to be a politician . . . to enjoy what I'm doing right now,'' he told the journalists in South Africa. ``Being involved in research, in education, this is a joy for me.''

Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Compare and contrast

Post by Charles Arthur » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:20 pm

Which one of these two Haitian presidents appears to care more about the people of his country?

1) "The Haitian people voted for my return"


Transcript of Jean-Bertrand Aristide interview broadcast by the BBC, 23 February 2006

"The Haitian people, voting for my return through the elections, are expressing their will to protect their dignity, because, voting in 2000 for a president and seeing a coup happening three years later, February 29th, 2004, that was taking away their dignity.

When they voted again for our return, they wanted to have their dignity restored. Secondly, in our flag, it is well written: "L'Union fait la force" - the more we are united, the stronger we can be... We should not listen to people trying to divide the Haitian people but pay attention to the necessity of having rich, poor, government, civil society, Haitians living in the Diaspora, Haitians
living in Haiti all united.

BBC: Many Haitians still see you as their elected president. What do you say to them now?

Jean-Bertrand Aristide: It's a love story. They love me and I love them. But when you love, it also leads to choose. People are not dumb. Ten years expressing that love for someone that means they see the truth. If we invested in education_We had 34 public secondary schools and now we have 138 public high schools. They enjoy having public schools to go to school. So it's a love story. That love will bring light. They will enjoy seeing me investing in education and I will enjoy learning from them. You are teaching, you are also learning. This is what I plan to do.

BBC: So you' say very clearly "I am no longer president. Support René Préval."

Jean-Bertrand Aristide: It is so clear!

BBC: Washington has made it very plain that they don't want you back in Haiti. If you return, wouldn't' that undermine René Préval's effort to build bridges with Un
ited States.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide: The United States claim that they are for democracy, for freedom. Freedom and democracy are linked to respect. I wish as I said it in the past, we need to develop a relationship with the United States and that relationship must be rooted in mutual respect. If we don't respect them, we should not expect them to respect us. Because we respect them, we expect them to respect us. And respecting the Haitian people means respecting the rights and the Constitution of the Haitian people. Article 41 of the Constitution does not accept exile. So my wish is that mutual respect will finally prevail.

BBC reporter: It must be very difficult for you because you say you were force to leave Haiti two years ago when you were president, by US soldiers. It must be very difficult; you must have mixed feelings about going back as an ordinary citizen.

JBA: I smile, because a think of President Mandela. After 27 years in jail, and seeing him back without having any hate but
reconciliation in his heart, that's wonderful. A great man must be able to turn sands. When Bishop Desmond Tutu went to Haiti last week, he said "What I have seen in Haiti reminds me of the old days of apartheid. It's true what he said. One percent of the population of Haiti controls 51 % of the wealth and the huge majority are living with less than $1 a day. So we need to build not walls but bridges of solidarity and dialogue of unity between rich and poor, government and civil society in order to promote that human growth linked to economic growth.

BBC: You obviously feel a lot of hope for your country but the opposition parties are saying that they do not accept the elections results. What is now likely to change the whole process of coup and coup in your country?

JBA: Haiti is the first black republic country in the world, since 1804 but we do not have the tradition of moving from elections to elections but from coup to coup unfortunately. Those who have lost the elections are learnin
g to embrace the one who wins or those who win. The one, who wins, those who win, are not, cannot be against those who lost, because it is democracy. You have to respect the rights of the minority and the right of the majority. Those who lost elections must win something. So when we understand that we will join hands and start moving from elections to elections, which is a learning process.

BBC: And finally, your political career, that's over now, is it? We are not going to see you as President of Haiti in 2011?

JBA: NO! (Wide smile)

BBC: Happy to be a normal citizen?

JBA: Of course, as I was before being elected.





_______________



2) "Haiti voted for change"


Interview with Haitian President-Elect, René Préval, 22 February 2006

Transcript of Radio Havana Cuba journalist, Ana Kovac's interview with Haitian president-elect, René Préval, published in Granma newspaper.

ANA KOVAC: What does the victory of René Pr
éval in the February 7 elections mean for Haiti and its people?

RENE PREVAL: This is not a victory for René Préval; this is a victory for the Haitian people. The Haitian people did not vote for René Préval, they voted for a change, and they have given Preval the responsibility of leading this project to achieve a change in their lives. Therefore, it is not my victory; it is a victory for the people.

AK: In your campaign, you spoke about some of these changes. Could you elaborate on them, and specifically those you expect in health and education?

RP: Haitians do not have access to healthcare or education today. Most Haitian people do not know how to read and write; they have no public healthcare and most do not have a job that allows them to live with their families. Today the Haitian people have voted for a project to change this state of affairs. And we are going to work with the people to improve their living conditions. That is, we have to do our very best, with all the means at hand.
Cuba has helped us with a literacy program, through a scholarship program that today has 750 young Haitians studying medicine in Cuba. Besides, there are more than a hundred that have completed their studies and returned to Haiti. In the meantime, there are Cuban doctors and other professionals working in Haiti and we hope they will continue assisting us in these programs. We also have cooperation going on in fields like fishing, aquaculture, research, and with the Darbonne sugar mill, which is very important. So, as with the support we are receiving from Cuba, we are going to need that of any other countries willing to help us improve the living conditions of the Haitian people.

AK: Mr. President. There are countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Chile that have congratulated the victory of the Lespwa Party. Are there any cooperation plans with some of those nations and with CARICOM?

RP: There are countries from the South that have congratulated us, and from Europe and the United States who ha
ve also acknowledged the victory of Lespwa. It will depend on us, with our wisdom, to see what cooperation we can establish. We cannot deny that cooperation with the South is the closest and most fraternal. Even though some of these countries have no money, they are willing to help. So, it is with wisdom that we are going to accept whatever cooperation may be available, as long as it is based on respect for the Haitian people.

AK: One last question related to national reconciliation. There were many candidates running for the presidency, there are lots of different sectors in Haiti. You yourself spoke about the importance of unity and reconciliation. What steps will you take in that direction?

RP: There is reconciliation when you have people quarreling. I think the greatest reconciliation we should strive for is the one with the starving people who need food, it is with those who are sick and who do not have access to medical services; it is for those who have no education to make sure that they
have access. This is the most important thing.

With 33 candidates participating in the February 7 elections, we came out with more than 50% of the votes. So I want everybody to understand that it is the Haitian people who spoke. Today, it is the Haitian people who have ascended to power. It is the starving people, it is the people who want doctors, who want education, and we are expecting cooperation with the Haitian people to flow from all. For a long time, the Haitian people have not received what they needed. Now we hope everyone will help them find what they so badly need: healthcare, education, employment, food.

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

The people's wisdom

Post by Ezili Danto » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:42 pm

Jaf,

Your post gives me an opportunity to pause and think further, cause you know I got problems with the modern-day Toussaint Louverture Negroes who love all things francophonie and wish for a Black ruled French or US colony in Haiti.

But that's an intellectual discussion for another day since I also believe the courage muscle may be strenghtened with pratice.

I am in TOTAL agreement with you [quote]between Aristide and Preval, I choose both[/quote]

Haiti makes history in the world again, because both represent the democratic will the people of Haiti. On principle, you "choosing both" means and shows respect in the people's wisdom.

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

Head of UN Kosovo Protectorate Moves to Haiti - Veye Yo

Post by Ezili Danto » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:44 pm

Head of UN Kosovo Protectorate Moves to Haiti - Veye Yo, Bare Wout Yo!!!


Jaf,

The folks who won't back Preval's Constitutional stand on the Aristide return question are the same ones who were very recently arguing that Haitians had no bargaining chips (money, connections, power) and shouldn't be making the white men mad, but should instead throw ourselves at his mercy so he will DEVELOP Haiti for us!

The real problem here is not Aristide's return, but that his return means the coup d'etat's defeat can't be avoided any longer - this puts fear in the Washington Chimères and some of the bitter zealots who joined them and many others whose exaggerations, lies, vengeances, tunnel vision, personal bitterness have been amply revealed these last nightmarish two years. But even today they hang on, anim
ated by bare-knuckle fear of admitting they were wrong and that their concept of law and justice was confined to personal vengeance not the greater good of Haiti.

What escapes of these folks, even now, who've made Aristide the "fiery slum priest," "demonic baby eater" and "corrupt dictator worst than Duvalier I and II," is that Aristide has said, the timing is up to Preval and presumably the best interest of the people of Haiti when he comes home. They ignore this as if they haven't read it in their haste to, consciously and some unconsciously, further give fuel to Haitian fratricide and the divide and conquer game of Category One and the Washington Chimères.

Clinical psychology calls this "selective perception": the filtering
out or exaggeration of pertinent information to further one's personal purpose or goal.

About this return, just a quick aside, as a Haitian-led network, we at HLLN support the people in their task for sovereignty, self
-respect, self-determination:

This means, at a minimum, stopping:
  • - the recolonization of Haiti - the first step is for the people to finish putting a government in office that reflects the democratic will of the people of Haiti.

    stopping the repression and killings in the popular neighborhoods and throughout Haiti;

    liberating of all political prisoners

    Applying disarmament, demobalization, reintergration equally to coup plotters and coup resisters keeping in mind that President Preval has said DDR must go hand in hand with social programs.

    Provide an atmosphere of stability so that all those forced into exile for political reasons may return home to Haiti.
The coming to past of any one of these goals will simultaneously make more room for the others to come to past. Rule of law is rule of law, there's no either or.

*******
Actually the main point I started to make was this: let's try to come together and loo
k outwards together as Jaf just said. It's not either Aristide or Preval. It's Haiti for Haitians, run for Haitians by Haitians for the people of Haiti, all the people of Haiti.

Otherwise protectorate will be our lot.

To wit: Head of UN Kosovo Protectorate Moves to Haiti - Veye Yo


While the powers-that-be try to keep us riveted to this staged election-distraction, the Jacques Bernard comedy show and phony "Aristide return" question, the next phase to formalize their de facto protectorate moves forward.

Veye yo, bare wout yo. In 2006, Desalin is rising worldwide!!! October 17, 2006 approaches........These coup d'etat folks are distracting us with their laughable carnival, Washington Chimères reloaded, to keep us all occupied while the next phase of the so-called 'Kosovo model' proceeds... As the head of UN Kosovo protectorate moves to Haiti. (article below)

See also, HLLN's predicts the 3 scenarios for the coup d'etat-run elections, dated Feb. 7, 2006 htt
ps://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/ezilidanto/2006-02/msg00002.html


****


Copyright 2006 British Broadcasting Corporation
All Rights Reserved
BBC Monitoring Latin America - Political
Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

February 22, 2006 Wednesday

LENGTH: 327 words

HEADLINE: Former US diplomat appointed deputy chief of UN mission in Haiti

BODY:


Text of report by Caribbean Media Corporation news agency website on 21 February

United Nations: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a former United States diplomat as principal deputy special representative for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah).

Annan said [Larry] Rossin, who served, since October 2004, as principal deputy special representative for the secretary-general for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, will assume the new post on 3 March.

In Kosovo, Rossin was responsible for overall programme management of a large
and complex post-conflict mission.

That mission exercises a full range of governance responsibilities, while building and empowering Kosovo institutions and facilitating the process of determining Kosovo's future political status.

Rossin retired from the US Senior Foreign Service in September 2004. His last position was special assistant to the president and senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia on the National Security Council staff

He served as director for Inter-American Affairs on the National Security Council staff, where his key responsibility was to design and coordinate United States policy on Haiti, participating in President Jimmy Carter's successful negotiation in 1994 to end the military regime in the French-speaking Caribbean country.

He also held other positions in Barbados, South Africa and Mali.

Amid post-election violence in Haiti, Annan had called for, and the UN Security Council had endorsed, an extension of, at least six months, the
UN peacekeeping force in Haiti. He welcomed the results of the Haitian presidential election, offering warm congratulations to President-elect Rene Preval.

Annan has stressed the importance of national reconciliation and the need for all Haitians to work together to promote political dialogue.

Source: Caribbean Media Corporation news agency website, Bridgetown, in English 1800 gmt 21 Feb 06


Copyright 2006 British Broadcasting Corporation
All Rights Reserved
BBC Monitoring Europe - Political
Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

February 22, 2006 Wednesday

LENGTH: 456 words

HEADLINE: Outgoing UNMIK deputy chief says Kosovo might win independence in 2006

BODY:


Text of report by Kosovo Albanian television KohaVision TV on 22 February

[Announcer] The process is going towards an independent Kosova [Kosovo], but it all depends on the work that needs to be done, departing deputy chief of UNMIK Larry Rossin said during his farewell press conference. The results and the speed, according to him, depend on the majority of the Kosova population and its institutions. In order to achieve these results, Rossin urged implementation of the Standards. Larry Rossin is leaving Kosova to transfer to the UN mission in Haiti.

[Reporter Muhamet Hajrullahu] UNMIK's number two, Larry Rosin, who is at the end of his mandate , has said that this year might bring independence for Kosova but, as he said, it is important that all citizens, without regard to ethnicity, see their future here. He added that this was requested by the Security Council, the Contact Group and many international diplomats.

[Larry Rossin in English with Albanian voice-over] According to Resolution 1244, UNMIK cannot play a role in determining Kosova's status but in helping the process. The person in charge of this is the envoy [for Kosovo] Martti Ahtisaari and the side
s in dialogue. I think that 2006 will be the year when Kosova may become independent. I and the UNMIK chief have worked for a better life for all citizens, a multi-ethnic Kosova, the fulfilment of the Standards, decentralization and security.

[Reporter] The American diplomat said that a lot of efforts had been invested to return the Serbs to the institutions, expressing at the same time his disappointment that they did not return and did not take advantage of many opportunities in their interest.

[Rossin] The Serbs should get ready and look forward. They did not receive support for their return to the institutions, although there were many attempts. This was played on by Belgrade, yet this needs to end soon.

[Reporter] Larry Rossin said that regardless of Kosova's future status, this place should be for everyone, and that a multi-ethnic and functional country should be established. During his stay in Kosova he observed the development and professionalism of the Kosova Police Service [SHP
K], whereas other institutions should develop further in the future, he said. UNMIK is undergoing restructuring and with the resolution of Kosova's status UNMIK will leave Kosova, adding that this would be decided in the future and that if there was a need there would be an increased presence of the European Union. The American diplomat returned home and will later join the UN mission in Haiti

Source: KohaVision TV, Pristina, in Albanian 1800 gmt 22 Feb 06

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