Exiled Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide States Desire to Return Home to Help with Earthquake Relief

Controversial former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide says he would like to return home to assist in rebuilding Haiti in the wake of this week's earthquake.

The former Haitian leader lives in forced exile in South Africa.

Mr. Aristide says he and his family are ready to leave for Haiti at a moment's notice.

Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa - Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, deposed and exiled in a 2004 coup, offered today to return to Haiti, saying he could not wait to go home to help rebuild his country after Tuesday's devastating earthquake.

In a rare public statement, he said he felt a profound need to try to save the lives of victims awaiting rescue. He refused to take questions on whether he planned to fly to Haiti without an official invitation.