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Haiti: New Army Led by Former Soldiers Accused of Killing Thousands of Civilians

Politics

Maxime

Six former soldiers, all in their 60s, that are in the high command of President Jovenel Moise's army, all once had their assets frozen by the United States for taking part in a coup to overthrow former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power in 1993.

One of the men, Colonel Jean Robert Gabriel, was accused of orchestrating the 1994 massacre of thousands of citizens in the town of Raboteau in Gonaives.

A Twitter user described that massacre:

This made the hairs on my neck stand up. Have been to the scene of the Raboteau massacre, and met with those who were there in 1994, when Cedras' machine gunners chased them through salt mines into the sea. To see Jean Robert Gabriel in such a role blows the mind. #Haiti

“The victims were men and women, girls and boys,” Henry-Claude Elismé told me. “Some of the dead were eaten by pigs and wild dogs. We don’t really know how many died in total because the army stayed for days, digging holes, dumping bodies on top of each other.”

Troops burst into houses as people slept, beating and torturing some and gunning down anyone who ran. Those who survived the sprint to the sea leapt into fishing boats, only to be slaughtered by troops positioned in 13 small boats just offshore.

"It is appalling," said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). "We should not support an institution led by people with their history. It is an example of what is wrong in Haiti."

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