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 Saturday, 11 January, 2003, 01:08 GMT
Fresh violence rocks Haiti
Haitian protestors playing football
Haiti has seen a wave of anti-government unrest
Supporters and opponents of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide have clashed in the capital, Port-au-Prince, injuring at least 12 people.

Aristide uses street thugs who with the complicity of the police broke up our demonstration

Jean Limongy
opposition politician

The clash occurred when rival demonstrations converged in the centre of the city, and riot police fired into the air and used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Haiti has seen a wave of anti-government unrest in recent months, as students, trade unions ands opposition politicians have taken to the streets.

The opposition Democratic Convergence accuse Mr Aristide of corruption, political repression and rigging the 2000 elections.

On Friday, anti-government protesters marched on Port-au-Prince's National Palace, as supporters of Mr Aristide staged a rival demonstration.

Opposition marchers say they were attacked both by the security forces and the president's supporters.

"Aristide uses street thugs who with the complicity of the police broke up our demonstration," opposition politician Jean Limongy told the Associated Press News Agency.

Donor fatigue

Police blamed the violence on the opposition protesters, saying they had strayed from the approved route.

Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
The opposition accuses Aristide of rigging the elections in 2000
Mr Aristide accused the opposition of planning a coup to overthrow him before the end of his term in 2006.

Four people have died in two months of clashes between riot police and anti-government demonstrators.

The Haitian Government has accused foreign aid donors for fuelling unrest.

Donors, led by the US, have frozen about $500m to the country because of a dispute over the integrity of parliamentary elections in 2000.

Mr Aristide was first elected as president in 1990 but was ousted in a coup months later.

An influx of refugees to the US prompted it to invade in 1994 and restore him to power.

See also:

10 Jan 03 | Business
27 Nov 02 | Americas
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