NewsLatin AmericaDominican Republic will close its border with Haiti starting this Friday

    Dominican Republic will close its border with Haiti starting this Friday

    The president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, announced the total closure of the border with Haiti starting at 6:00 am this Friday. It will be by air, sea and land, after the controversial construction of an irrigation canal, which diverts the waters of the Masacre River towards Haiti, in the northeast of the Dominican-Haitian border.

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    The Dominican president, Luis Abinader, announced that he will completely close the border of the Dominican Republic with Haiti from 06:00 local time on Friday, in retaliation to a conflict generated after the construction of an irrigation canal in the Masacre River, bordering between both countries.

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    Abinader, who called the construction of the irrigation canal a “provocation,” announced the border closure during the delivery of military vehicles in Santo Domingo.

    According to the information that we offered; the National Security Council and the planning that was done. In this sense, the Ministry of Defense is already prepared, both the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are prepared to comply with this provision, Abinader commented.

    The controversy has been going on since the beginning of September, after a group of Haitian farmers decided to build a canal to divert the waters of the Masacre River, a natural division between both countries, near Dajabon, in order to supply their crops on the other side. Haitian.

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    The construction, carried out by organized Haitian civilians, received the support of the population of Juana Mendez, Haiti. The Haitian residents placed columns of rods to build the concrete channel that would connect the Masacre River with their crops.

    Jean Brevil Weston, coordinator of the Maribaroux Plain Farmers Movement, said that nothing will prevent the construction of the canal, according to the Haitian newspaper “Le Nouvelliste.” “Our position is clear. The channel or death. “We are ready to be buried in the canal,” Weston said.

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    This week, Luis Abinader’s government ordered several measures in the border city of Dajabon, including suspending the entry of all those involved in the construction of the canal and canceling the issuance of visas to Haitian citizens until further notice. The president also ordered construction of the Don Miguel Dam on the Masacre River to begin to protect the Dominican Republic’s water supply.

    Military guards the border with Haiti today in Dajabon (Dominican Republic). The president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, announced this Thursday that the border of the Dominican Republic will be completely closed starting at 06:00 local time this Friday. EFE – Eddy Vittini

    Abinader: “it is a provocation that this Government is not going to accept”

    Authorities from both countries were seeking a solution to the conflict in Santo Domingo on Wednesday, September 13. The Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, assured that this is a private initiative where his government has nothing to do with it.

    “In any case, we continue with the conversations with the Haitian Government,” despite the fact that “it has control problems in its territory,” said Abinader. “If there are uncontrollable (elements) there, they will be uncontrollable for the Haitian Government, but they will not be uncontrollable for the Government of the Dominican Republic,” stated the Dominican president.

    The Dominican government says it is convinced that the measures adopted will not generate violent reactions or greater tensions on the border with Haiti; “There is not going to be any violence on this side, we are prepared to control it,” he said.

    Therefore, we are going to continue with the plan we have (…) This nonsense of a totally inadequate construction without any type of engineering is a provocation that this Government is not going to accept, he stated.

    According to the Dominican Republic, this work violates the Treaty of Peace and Perpetual Friendship and Arbitration of 1929, the Border Agreement of 1935 and the Border Review Protocol of 1936, signed by both countries.

    Airlines and bus fleets suspended trips to Haiti

    Since Thursday there are no flights or bus trips to and from Haiti, including the main airline that makes the route daily from El Higuero airport and the bus company Caribe Tours.

    In Pedernales, a Dominican Navy ship guards the area to prevent informal maritime fishing activity, according to the Dominican newspaper Listin.

    Haiti has been mired in an economic, political and security crisis for years, aggravated by the loss of territorial control at the hands of violent criminal gangs.

    The construction of this irrigation canal is not the only controversy surrounding the border area between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The construction of the border wall by the Dominican Republic has also been the subject of controversy since it was announced in March 2021.

    The project, which is expected to cost $31 million, has been criticized by human rights groups and the international community, with Abinader claiming it is a measure to curb illegal migration and drug trafficking.

    And it is part of a broader plan to build a “smart perimeter fence” that will separate the two countries and that has generated an increase in deportations from the Dominican Republic.

    The Masacre River, named after an old colonial dispute between Spain and France, has been the scene of historical conflicts between the two countries, including the massacre of Haitians in 1937 under the orders of dictator Rafael Trujillo, who ruled the Dominican Republic.

    Next October will mark 86 years of this event that claimed the lives of more than thousands of Haitians, after Trujillo launched anti-Haitian phrases, accusing them of stealing livestock and damaging crops.

    With EFE and local media

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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