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Port-au-Prince, September 21, 2006 -- (AHP); The president of the national commission for disarmament, dismantlement and reinteration (CNDDR), Alix Fils-Aimé, Thursday called on the Haitian people to unite with the goal of development.

Alix Fils-Aimé, who spoke within the framework of the first conference of the commission since its creation on September 12, said that he could not understand why Haitians were ripping eachother apart while other countries could unite to see real achievements.

Stating that the violence was a threat to Haitian sovereignety, Fils-Aimé called on all sectors to work towards a climate of sustainable peace. "We must disarm all individuals and armed groups in Haiti," said the president of CNDDR.

Alix Fils-Aimé also used the opportunity to reiterate that the commission does not operate in a judiciary or policing role but as a facilitator to encourage groups to lay down their arms.

In this sense, he said, the awareness campaign will be run in business, schools and every neighbourhood.

Contact has been made with heads of the business sector to have all weapons purchased for the safety of their business returned.

The president of the commission also denounced a recent defamation campaign against the commission's representative for the popular neighbourhoods Jean Baptiste Jean Philippe, aka Samba Boukman.

Samba Boukman is accused of having been arrested for possession of illegal weapons and involvement in multiple rapes and for being wanted by the police. On the issue, Fils-Aimé recalled that under the previous regime, the police issued warrants with no regard for the law. He called for those responsible for the accusations to show physical evidence of the legitimacy of their statements immediately; otherwise, they may face legal reprisals.

The presence of Samba Boukman within the commission is very important, said Fils-Aimé.

It is RNDDH, an organization known to be close to the Latortue regime, who has launched the defamation campaign.

The organization is also accused of having dozens of executives and political activists arrested following the departure of Aristide, including the former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and artist Annette Auguste. They accuse Boukman of being the spokesperson for what they call operation Baghdad.

According to some youth in the area of Bel-Air, this pseudo operation was an intervention of the Latortue regime to justify police extortion in popular neighbourhoods.

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