Haiti: Developments and U.S. Policy Since 1991 and Current Congressional Concerns [Updated January 25, 2008] [open pdf - 252KB]
"Following the first free and fair elections in Haiti's history, Jean-Bertrand Aristide first became Haitian President in February 1991. He was overthrown by a military coup in September 1991. For over three years, the military regime resisted international demands that Aristide be restored to office. In September 1994, after a U.S. military intervention had been launched, the military regime agreed to Aristide's return, the immediate, unopposed entry of U.S. troops, and the resignation of its leadership. President Aristide returned to Haiti in October 1994 under the protection of some 20,000 U.S. troops, and disbanded the Haitian army. U.S. aid helped train a civilian police force. Subsequently, critics charged Aristide with politicizing that force and engaging in corrupt practices. Elections held under Aristide and his successor, René Préval (1996-2000), including the one in which Aristide was reelected in 2000, were marred by alleged irregularities, low voter turnout, and opposition boycotts. Efforts to negotiate a resolution to the electoral dispute frustrated the international community for years. Tension and violence continued throughout Aristide's second term, culminating in his departure from office in February 2004, after the opposition repeatedly refused to negotiate a political solution and armed groups took control of half the country. An interim government, backed by the Bush Administration, was established with Gérard LaTortue as Prime Minister. The U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has tried to improve security conditions, but Haiti remains unstable. Natural disasters have contributed to instability."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32294