Local March 11, 2024 | 8:17 am

Security concerns escalate: Dominican Republic bars Haitian Prime Minister

Santo Domingo.- President Luis Abinader has declared that the Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, is unwelcome in the Dominican Republic due to security concerns, according to a statement released on the National Palace networks this Saturday. In an interview with the Financial Times, Abinader asserted that, given the current tumultuous situation in Haiti, he deems it inappropriate for the Prime Minister to be present in the Dominican Republic.

This decision underscores the Dominican Government’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding national security and stability, particularly in the face of escalating violence and chaos in Haiti. Abinader emphasized the absence of effective governance and authority in Haiti, describing the security situation as “totally unsustainable,” particularly in southern Haiti and around the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Abinader warned that without the urgent implementation of a peace force to restore order and alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, the situation could further deteriorate. He highlighted the crisis in Haiti as not only a humanitarian challenge but also a direct threat to the stability and security of the Dominican Republic. Consequently, the Administration has taken proactive measures to insulate the country from the repercussions of events in its neighboring nation.

The Dominican president called on the international community to join efforts to pacify Haiti, emphasizing the need for a viable plan leading to democratic elections. Abinader stressed that, without a legitimate government and a substantial reduction in violence, the electoral process in Haiti would be unviable.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been in Puerto Rico since last Tuesday after Dominican authorities denied his request to land in the country for reasons of national security. The situation in Haiti has worsened, with alleged bandits killed during an attack on the National Palace in Port-au-Prince orchestrated by the coalition of armed gangs ‘Vivre Ensemble,’ led by former police officer Jimmy Cherizier, alias ‘Barbecue,’ who demands Henry’s departure.

Tensions and violence have surged in the capital, especially after Ariel Henry committed to holding elections before the end of August 2025, a distant date considering his mandate was supposed to conclude on February 7, as stipulated in a 2022 agreement. The crisis has escalated further, with gangs entering the main prisons in the capital last Saturday, allowing over 3,000 prisoners to escape.

Henry, now the highest authority in Haiti after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, is facing pressure both inside and outside the country to facilitate a transition that could halt the acute crisis and extreme violence. Haiti is awaiting the deployment of a multinational security support mission led by Kenya, approved by the UN Security Council in October of the previous year.

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March 11, 2024 12:41 pm

You better be concerned! And prepare yourselves for an exit of tourism.All sectors are extremely worried!

March 11, 2024 8:50 pm

Looks like barbecue is in charge who’s gonna roast…

March 11, 2024 11:12 pm

Yeah but Kenya is sending there “killing squad” so let’s hope 1 police officer can “take out” 200….Sad the US will not just carpet bomb the area and start over. This is Somalia in the making; in our back yard