Government to sign a pact today to address the crisis with Haiti
The Dominican border with Haiti guarded by the military. (ARCHIVE/FREE DIARY)
Santo Domingo—The President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, will be in charge of the signing ceremony of the National Pact for the formulation and execution of State policies to deal with the situation in Haiti, informed the Presidency on Wednesday night.
The signing of the pact takes place at a time when there is no solution in sight to the conflict that has been going on for more than a month between the Dominican Republic and Haiti over the construction of a canal on the Haitian side to take water from the Masacre River, which is shared by the two nations.
The event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the Green Room of the National Palace.
The Presidency did not inform which entities and officials would attend the event.
Since September 12, President Abinader has taken measures against the neighboring country to stop canal construction. He ordered the temporary closing of the border, which was made official on September 15. He called for the suspension of the issuance of visas to Haitian citizens and the prohibition of flights from Haiti.
The closing of the border was ordered by sea, land, and air.
In the face of these measures, Haiti did not cease in the construction of its work, under the allegation that this country had the same right to use the tributary, and its Prime Minister, Henry Ariel, went to the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) to defend his decision.
After a few weeks of tension, the Dominican government decided to open the border in the commercial area to allow the realization of the binational markets, which were held every week at the border points of Dajabón (the most important), Elías Piña, Jimaní, and Montecristi. Still, the response of the Haitians has been not to go shopping. Only one day, they passed through the Dajabón crossing, and that was to pick up their merchandise.
The Haitian Government has not officially pronounced itself on this position but keeps its border gates closed. Unofficial information indicates they do not intend to return to commercial exchange until the Dominican Republic “does not respect Haiti” and accepts the canal’s construction. They have also said that they are looking for markets for their products, and even Nicaragua is receiving their flights.
On the Dominican side, the Government is helping economically the producers and traders of the border zone, but they allege that their losses are substantial without the Haitian market.
Role of the OAS and the UN
During the days of the UN meeting, it was approved that a multinational force would intervene in Haiti, as requested by the Government. Kenya would be the lead country, but the initiative has been rejected lately.
Meanwhile, the Organization of American States (OAS) sent a mission to the Dominican Republic to examine the situation on the border. Still, Haiti refused to allow the task to visit its territory and asked for another delegation.