KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP):
OUSTED HAITIAN President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is making final preparations to leave Jamaica and take up asylum in South Africa, an official said yesterday.
Although there is no firm departure date, Aristide will fly to South Africa with his wife, Mildred, and the couple's two daughters, according to his spokesman Huntley Medley.
The Jamaican government has said Aristide's stay would not exceed 10 weeks. Since his March 15 arrival, he has been staying at a Government-owned villa in the parish of St. Ann.
Aristide fled Haiti on February 29 amid a spreading rebellion in the impoverished nation. He was flown aboard a U.S.-supplied jet to the Central African Republic and accused the United States of forcing him from power, a claim U.S. officials deny. He left two weeks later for Jamaica.
South Africa agreed to give Aristide temporary asylum "until his personal situation normalises" and he can return to Haiti. An interim Government, however, has been installed and fresh elections are expected next year.
Aristide has not publicly said he intends to return to his homeland to govern.
Once in South Africa, he will live under tight security in the capital of Pretoria at the South African Government's expense a move that has angered opposition groups in South Africa.
The 15-member Caribbean Community, which refuses to recognise Haiti's U.S.-backed government, has called on the Washington-based Organisation of American States (OAS) to investigate the circumstances of Aristide's departure.
OAS leaders were scheduled to meet yesterday, but it was unclear whether a decision would be made on the possibility of an investigation.