Haiti's Aristide asks the world for help

Rebels target Port-au-Prince in Haiti rebellion.

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide appealed to the world to come to Haiti's aid "as soon as possible" on Tuesday, warning that if rebels attack the capital of Port-au-Prince thousands could be killed.

Rebels in Haiti are threatening to attack the capital city, as the United States tries to broker a peace plan that would keep Aristide in power. The U.S. wants politicians in Haiti to consider its proposal and respond by the end of Tuesday afternoon.

A Canadian assessment team was to arrive in Port-au-Prince Tuesday. The Canadian Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) will develop a consular contingency plan, which includes access routes if an evacuation of Canadians is required.

Rebel leader Guy Philippe told The Associated Press on Tuesday he wants the Haitian army re-established, but does not want a military dictatorship in the Caribbean nation.

The army was disbanded in 1991 after Aristide was ousted in 1991.

Philippe spoke from the northern port city of Cap-Haitien, Haiti's second largest city, which the rebels took over on the weekend. He told AP that a military dictatorship is "not good for the country."

Philippe said on Monday his forces would attack Port-au-Prince within three days and control the entire country in two weeks unless Aristide steps down.

About 70 people have died in fighting in the past two weeks. Rebels want Aristide out of office and new elections held, saying his administration is corrupt.

There are three forces in Haiti: the government, headed by Aristide; the opposition, who want Aristide to resign and the rebels, who also want to see the president gone, but are not allied with the opposition.