Haiti's Duvalier calls for ex-leaders' conference

Ex-Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who is facing charges of corruption and human rights abuses, called Wednesday for a conference of former heads of state to forge a national consensus.

"I remain convinced of the urgent need for unity, and only a national consensus can enable us to overcome our countless challenges," Duvalier wrote in a statement on his Facebook page.

On Tuesday, President Michel Martelly voiced support for the idea of a meeting of former leaders of the island.

"We need to stop fighting against ourselves. We are at war against each other and this is preventing the country from moving forward," Martelly told a crowd of several thousand in a speech marking his two years in power.

Duvalier welcomed Martelly's comments.

"I have closely followed the president's remarks made on May 14 and I have learned with satisfaction of his desire for a meeting of former heads of state," he wrote.

Duvalier, 61, ruled Haiti from 1971 until his ouster in a popular revolt in 1986. He returned from exile in France two years ago.