French troops arrive in Haiti

1st March 2004, Comments 0 comments

PORT-AU-PRINCE, March 1 (AFP) - Dozens of French troops arrived Monday in Haiti, joining US Marines and Canadian Special Forces already on the ground in the crisis-wracked country.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, March 1 (AFP) - Dozens of French troops arrived Monday in Haiti, joining US Marines and Canadian Special Forces already on the ground in the crisis-wracked country.

The troops arrived at the international airport in Port-au-Prince on two transport planes early Monday morning. A third plane was expected, bringing to 150 the number of French troops in the Haitian capital.

France also has dispatched a platoon of gendarmes from a special riot control unit to help maintain order in Haiti after President Jean Bertrand Aristide resigned and fled into exile on Sunday.

The French troops are part of a multinational force authorised Sunday by the UN Security Council, joining the US and Canadian troops already on the ground.

US forces have set up a command centre in the diplomatic lounge of the international airport at Port-au-Prince, and marines, who arrived during the night, could be seen camped near the runway.

Shortly after their arrival the French troops were pouring over maps of Haiti and Port-au-Prince as the French embassy's military attache showed them the location of hotspots of violence.

"First we will go to the embassy, then the residence of the French ambassador. After that, it depends on circumstances," said Lieutenant Colonel Louis Acacio, of the French Antilles Army.

Acacio, who commands the troops that arrived early Monday, said the deployment would start later in the day.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

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