The former commander of the UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (Minustah), Brazilian general, Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, denies charges that troops in the mission commited violations of human rights.

    The charges have been made by American NGOs who say there were cases of genocide. Ribeiro declared that in his opinion the people behind the charges are pro-Jean-Bertrand Aristide and want his return to the island.

    The Brazilian General said he considered the charges baseless. "If there was anything to the charges I might be worried. But they have no basis in reality. No one in the stabilization mission is there to kill people, much less commit genocide," he said.

    According to Ribeiro the charges stem from a military action which took place on July 6, 2005, when Minustah troops moved into the Cité Soleil neighborhood of the capital Porto Principe to capture a gang leader, Tred Wilmé. Minustah troops killed Wilmé and five of his followers and retreated from the area.

    However, the next day more bodies were found in the neighborhood. Ribeiro says he has intelligence reports that the rest of the Wilmé gang killed a lot of people in anger, believing that they were informers who assisted Minustah in its mission to get Wilmé. The NGOs claim the Minustah troops commited genocide.

    Agência Brasil

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