Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril set out to form a new government on Monday after Haitians turned the capital into a carnival celebrating a coup that toppled military leader Gen. Henri Namphy.
Haitians danced in the streets on Sunday to express joy over the Saturday night coup, but sporadic shooting was heard around Port-Au-Prince, and at least five people were killed as vengeful mobs roamed the streets seeking Namphy supporters.A day after Avril proclaimed himself president on national television, he had yet to announce the members of his cabinet. Local political observers said in-fighting was likely in the military over the makeup of the new government.
Avril took power Sunday after middle-level officers rebelled against Namphy, who had taken power only three months before by ousting civilian president Leslie Manigat. Avril, a close adviser to Namphy, had assisted him in the June coup.
Namphy fled to the Dominican Republic, where he received political asylum. He refused to speak with reporters. He was accompanied by Port-au-Prince Mayor Frank Romain, an ally of ousted Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who left the country in February 1986.
The assistant manager at the Santo Domingo hotel where Namphy is lodged with his wife and daughter said the ousted leader had told him he would not make any public remarks - "not today, not tomorrow, not ever."
Three of those killed on Sunday were men attacked by an angry crowd searching for followers of Romain, who was widely blamed for violence last week that preceded the coup. In the violence, three churches were attacked by machete-wielding gangs. In one church 11 people were killed and 70 wounded. Many Haitains said they believed the attackers were lead by members of the Tonton Macoutes, the dreaded militia founded by former dictator Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, under orders from Romain.
The U.S. and Canadian embassies advised their citizens to stay off the streets Sunday. Small groups of people milled in the streets and traffic was light. Television and radio stations resumed their normal programming. The airport, which was closed Sunday, was expected to reopen Monday.
"In these difficult moments, the government asks the population to maintain order and not to ransack properties," said a communique read over television and radio.
It was still unclear what role would be played by Col. Jean Claude Paul, Avril's military partner in the coup, who is wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges.