Rebels move in on capital city

The rebel leader said they will arrest Aristide if he doesn't resign.
CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (AP) -- Rebels began moving toward Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince today and are awaiting the order to attack, a guerrilla leader told The Associated Press.
The leader, Guy Philippe, said their mission was to arrest President Jean-Bertrand Aristide if he did not resign, so he could be tried on charges ranging from corruption to murder.
"We've decided to go toward Port-au-Prince. They're on their way," Philippe said in Cap-Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city in the north, which fell to the rebels Sunday. "They're taking their places. They know what to do."
The U.N. Security Council scheduled a meeting for this afternoon on the 3-week-old uprising.
Bush urges 'security presence'
Foreigners fled the island nation amid isolated looting, and President Bush said the United States is encouraging the international community to provide a strong "security presence."
Concerned about the increasing chaos in its former colony, France called for Aristide's resignation, saying "he bears grave responsibility for the current situation."
"It's up to him to accept the consequences while respecting the rule of law," Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said in a prepared statement.
French diplomatic officials confirmed today that de Villepin was calling for Aristide to resign.
Abel Descollines, a member of the opposition Democratic Platform coalition, praised France's statement and asked the United States and Canada to do the same.
"We hope American and Canadian authorities will rally behind the French position to help Haiti avoid a civil war," he told French RTL radio.
French Defense Ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau said it was too early to discuss whether there would be a role for the military in ensuring a peaceful departure by Aristide, should he leave the island.
Aristide, a 50-year-old former slum priest, once commanded widespread support as Haiti's first democratically elected leader and savior to the poor, but he has steadily lost support as poverty deepened after his party swept flawed legislative elections in 2000 and international donors suspended aid.
Opposition leaders, who say they are not linked to the rebels, have rejected a U.S.-backed proposal for Aristide to remain president and share power with his political rivals.
De Villepin called for the establishment of a civilian peacekeeping force. "This international force would be responsible for guaranteeing the return to public order and supporting the international community's action on the ground," Villepin said.
Allegations against Aristide
French and U.S. diplomats say Aristide used police and supporters to crush dissent, contributing to the violence, and failed to fight corruption in the police and judiciary.
A convicted drug lord, meanwhile, provided damning testimony against Aristide, saying the president was profiting from cocaine trafficking.
Beaudoin "Jacques" Ketant testified Wednesday in Miami after being sentenced to 27 years for money laundering and allegedly shepherding 41 tons of drugs for Colombian drug cartels through Haiti to the United States from 1987 to 1996.
"He turned the country into a narco-country," Ketant said. Ira Kurzban, a Miami attorney for the Haitian government, dismissed the allegations from "a lying, convicted drug dealer."
Aristide has, for his part, accused the rebels of leading the popular uprising, which has killed about 80 people and seen buildings torched, through drug-trafficking proceeds.
As order in the impoverished country of 8 million unraveled, Aristide's two daughters flew to the United States.
American Airlines delayed three of its five daily flights to the United States because crew and passengers had trouble passing the roadblocks. Air Jamaica canceled its flights to Haiti indefinitely.
U.N. nonessential staff and their families were being evacuated.
Canada and the Dominican Republic said small teams of their soldiers were on their way to Haiti to protect their embassies. Canadian Maj. Mike Audette said the soldiers would prepare for the possible evacuation of more than 1,000 citizens.
The last of 56 Mormon missionaries in Haiti left Wednesday.
Fearing an exodus of Haitians, the Dominican Republic doubled the number of troops along its 225-mile border with Haiti.
Haitians fled a political crisis in large numbers 12 years ago.