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U.S. Sees No Rebel Role in New Haiti Government

A day after armed rebel leaders swept into Haiti’s capital in triumph, the Bush administration declared Tuesday that the paramilitaries would not play a role in the country’s political reconstruction and urged them to lay down their arms and go home. Administration officials said they would seek to reach an understanding with the Haitian political opposition and leaders loyal to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who left for exile on Sunday morning. There is no room in that effort, officials said, for gun-toting bands of former army and police officers who deposed Mr. Aristide. “The rebels do not have a role in the political process,” said Richard A. Boucher, the State Department spokesman. “The rebels need to disband and go back to their homes. And I want to be quite clear that that’s our position.” At the White House, the spokesman, Scott McClellan, said the administration intended to deal only with the business people, civic leaders and politicians who make up the nonviolent opposition to Mr. Aristide and his Lavalas party. Full Story

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