Aristide wishes to leave SA for Haiti


Former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide wants to return to his home country following a devastating earthquake that left tens of thousands of people dead and injured.

"We cannot wait to be with our sisters and brothers in Haiti, we share the anguish of all Haitians in the diaspora who are desperate to reach family and loved ones," Aristide said on Friday.

"As far as we are concerned we ready to leave today, tomorrow, at any time to join the people of Haiti, to share in their suffering, help rebuild the country, moving from misery to poverty with dignity," he told media at the OR Tambo Southern Sun hotel in Johannesburg.

Aristide did not take questions from reporters and it was not immediately known if would return to his home country.

Chief director of public diplomacy Sol Molubi said Aristide would not take questions because "the situation is difficult and unbearable for the family".

Asked if Aristide, his wife and their two daughters would be returning to Haiti, Molubi said "I don't know at this stage".

"We must remember it's a two way process... he didn't come to South Africa out of choice," Molubi said.

Aristide's wife sat beside him fighting back tears.

The family were exiled in South Africa following Aristide's ousting as president in February 2004. - Sapa


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