GONAIVES, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s rebellion spread to
the central city of Hinche yesterday as rebels aided by former
soldiers attacked a police station and killed at least three
officers, including the police chief.
The rebels descended on the police station in Hinche, about 70
miles northwest of Port-au-Prince, according to a Haitian security
official who spoke on condition of anonymity. They killed district
police chief Maxime Jonas, pushed police out of the city and
threatened government supporters, the official said.
At least 56 people have died since the rebellion aimed at
ousting President Jean-Bertrand Aristide exploded Feb. 5 in the
city of Gonaives.
Rebels armed with machetes and rifles escorted an aid convoy led
by the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross into
Gonaives yesterday. The convoy was carrying 1.6 tons of supplies,
including blood and surgical equipment.
A surgeon and a physician were also sent to treat some 40 people
wounded in the fighting.
“We are here to bring urgently needed medical assistance
to Gonaives,” Pedro Isely, leader of the Red Cross mission in
Haiti, said yesterday after arriving in the city.
In addition to the medical relief, the international
non-governmental organization, CARE, began distributing food to
people in Gonaives. About 50,000 people will receive a gallon of
vegetable oil, while others will get sacks of cereals, said Sandy
Laumark, director of CARE in Haiti. The distribution will last
about 10 days.
The rebels launched the rebellion from Gonaives, 70 miles
northwest of Port-au-Prince, unleashing a deadly wave of violence
that has spread to more than a dozen towns. Both sides have
On Sunday night, Aristide loyalists reportedly killed two rebels
in the port town of St. Marc.
Although the rebels are thought to number less than
Haiti’s 5,000-member police force, exiled paramilitary
leaders and police have joined their forces, vowing to oust
“They have joined us. We have created a national
resistance,” Winter Etienne, one of the rebel leaders in
Gonaives, said yesterday. “We’re going to take a major
part of Haiti.”
Louis-Jodel Chamblain, a former Haitian soldier who led a
paramilitary group known as the Front for the Advancement and
Progress of Haiti, or FRAPH, which killed and maimed hundreds of
people between 1991 and 1994, is among those helping the
Also helping is Guy Philippe, a former police chief who fled to
the Dominican Republic after being accused by the Haitian
government of fomenting a coup in 2002.
“We don’t have any platform,” said Philippe,
35, in an interview taped Saturday that was obtained by Associated
Press Television News. “Our fight is for a better country
… We are fighting for the presidency, we’re fighting
for the people.”
In an attempt to keep police and government supporters out, the
rebels have used shipping containers to block the highway leading
into Gonaives. The blockades have halted most food, fuel and
medical shipments to more than 250,000 people.
The unrest has also affected hospitals. In St. Marc, rebels
torched a clinic. In Gonaives, a gunbattle between police and
rebels left three dead inside the hospital.
Hospital administrator Gabriel Honorat said the wounded are
being cared for in their homes.
“We have no medicine. It is urgent,” he said.
Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, is sending
16 tons of medical equipment to Haiti. The supplies consist mainly
of surgical and dressing kits for hospitals and clinics helped by
the aid group, said Erwin Vantland, a spokesman.
Discontent has grown in this Caribbean country of 8 million
people since Aristide’s party swept flawed legislative
elections in 2000 and international donors froze millions of
The unrest has deepened as more people have taken sides in the