PORT-AU-PRINCE: Approximately 200 supporters of former Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, protested outside his home last weekend as police officers stood guard on the outskirts of the compound.
The new unit of police officers was posted amid fears that the former president faces arrest for failing to heed a court summons.
Police spokesman, Frantz Lerebours, said the officers are members of a special unit assigned to monitor Aristide, although there are no immediate plans to carry out an arrest warrant issued by a judge investigating a corruption case.
Last month, a judge issued a warrant when Aristide failed to show up in court to testify in an investigation into money laundering and corruption during his presidency.
Aristide’s lawyer said the summons was not properly issued and asked the judge to reconsider the arrest warrant.
Lerebours said the judge asked police to place Aristide under house arrest but there is no provision for house arrest under Haitian law.
He said officers would instead monitor Aristide, who has rarely left his home since returning from exile in 2011.
Aristide, a former Roman Catholic priest who championed the poor and led the opposition to a brutal dictatorship, was Haiti’s first democratically-elected president in 1990.
He was toppled in a coup and returned to power with U.S. assistance. He was ousted again in 2004 during a violent rebellion.