Zelaya Makes Brief Honduras Return

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Al Jazeera - English

Zelaya Makes Brief Honduras Return

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Mr Zelaya says he remains the elected leader of Honduras. (AFP Photo)

Honduras'
deposed president has made a brief return to his country from
Nicaragua, nearly four weeks after he was forced from power in a
military-backed coup.

Manuel Zelaya walked from the Nicaraguan town of Los Manos to the
frontier on Friday, and walked a few metres beyond a chain marking the
border, before being blocked by Honduran army troops.

Honduras'
security forces had been instructed by the country's
military-backed interim government to arrest Zelaya if he entered the
country, but they did not move against him.

After speaking to journalists, Zelaya then stepped back onto
Nicaraguan soil, to await members of his family who are on the Honduran
side of the border.

Political crisis

Mariana Sanchez, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Honduras, said: "He
stepped into Honduran territoty, but is this just a metaphor? The
significant thing would be if he went all the way to Tegucigalpa, the
capital.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

"Zelaya is showing his supporters that he is here, and that he is
close to them. I think he will stay at the border for some time; his
wife is coming to meet him and it is very difficult to get through the
checkpoints to the border."

The deposed president's brief return to Honduras comes after
mediated crisis talks aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement between
Zelaya and the interim government failed.

He was removed from power as he was about to press ahead with a
non-binding referendum that critics said was aimed at changing the
constitution to enable him to run again for office.

Zelaya said the charter changes were necessary to improve the lives of the poor.

 

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