Sunday, January 16, 2011

Exiled Former Dictator Unexpectedly Arrives in Haiti

"'Baby Doc' Duvalier returns to Haiti"
Jean Junior Osman, for CNN
January 16, 2011

"Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Haiti's former dictator, returned unexpectedly Sunday to the country after some 25 years in exile.

He arrived in the Haitian capital as the nation is grappling with a political crisis, sparked by fraud allegations in a presidential election. It was not immediately clear why the former leader returned.

Duvalier, wearing a dark suit and tie, greeted supporters at the busy Port-au-Prince airport. He had traveled with his wife.

The Duvalier family ruled Haiti for three decades starting in 1957, when Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier was elected president. He later declared himself president for life. When he died in 1971, he was succeeded by his 19-year-old son, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.

The younger Duvalier held onto power for 15 years before a revolt forced him to flee the country. He has been living in France.

The United Nations restricted the movement of its staff in Port-au-Prince until further notice, or until the impact of Duvalier's arrival becomes clear, said Patrick Hanson, a security officer for the United Nations in Haiti.

While groups of people have gathered in various parts of the city, they are calm and no violence has been reported, he said."

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