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In phone call arranged by Jesse Jackson, Aristide says he was forced to flee
ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) - Jean-Bertrand Aristide claims he was forced to leave Haiti by U.S. military forces, according to a telephone interview with the exiled Haitian president Monday. Aristide was put in contact with The Associated Press by Rev. Jesse Jackson following a news conference, where the civil rights leader called on Congress to investigate Aristide's ouster. When asked if he left Haiti on his own, Aristide quickly answered: "No. I was forced to leave
"Agents were telling me that if I don't leave they would start shooting and killing in a matter of time," Aristide said during the brief phone interview that was interrupted at times by static.
When asked who the agents were, he responded: "White American, white military.
"They came at night . . . There were too many, I couldn't count them," he added.
Jackson said Congress should investigate whether United States, specifically the CIA, had a role in the rebellion that led to Aristide's exile.
Jackson encouraged reporters to question where the rebels in Haiti got their guns and uniforms.
"Why would we immediately support an armed overthrow and not support a constitutionally elected government?" Jackson said.
Aristide, who fled Haiti under pressure from the rebels, his political opponents, the United States and France, arrived Monday in the Central African Republic, according to the country's state radio. He has claimed that he was abducted from Haiti by U.S. troops who accompanied him on a flight to the Central African Republic.
The White House, Pentagon and State Department have denied allegations that Aristide was kidnapped by U.S. forces eager for him to resign.