World September 12, 2023 | 10:05 am

The treaty that is violated with the construction of a canal in the Masacre River

Santo Domingo.- The conflict between the Dominican Republic and Haiti has escalated over the construction of an illegal canal on the Masacre River, a violation of a 94-year-old treaty called the Treaty of Peace, Perpetual Friendship, and Arbitration. This treaty, signed on February 20, 1929, prohibits either country from altering the course of rivers that run between them.

Article 10 of the treaty explicitly states that both countries commit not to carry out any work that can change the flow of these rivers or alter their sources. While it does allow for the equitable use of water for irrigation, agriculture, and industry within their respective territories, it emphasizes that the flow should not be diverted.

The Dominican Republic, concerned about the violation of this treaty, has attempted to halt the canal construction but has not succeeded in getting the groups involved to cease their activities.

In response to the ongoing conflict, the Dominican Government has announced several measures:

1. Maintaining the total closure of the border with Haiti through Dajabón.
2. If the conflict is not resolved by Thursday, the complete closure of the border for land, sea, and air trade.
3. Definitive suspension of entry into the Dominican Republic for all those involved in the conflict.
4. Suspension of visa issuance to Haitian citizens until further notice.
5. Reactivation of the Customs Takeover on the Dajabón River, at the beginning of the La Vigía canal, to guarantee water supply to Dominican producers.
6. Commencing the construction process of the Don Miguel Dam project as a long-term solution. The project’s design began last year, with an estimated construction time of about 30 months and an approximate cost of 2.7 billion pesos. The bidding process will start immediately.
7. Requesting a bilateral meeting of the binational water table to seek a definitive solution.

The situation remains tense as both countries grapple with the issue of the illegal canal construction and its potential environmental and diplomatic consequences.

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September 12, 2023 12:39 pm

threaten military intervention to thwart the project… maybe that’ll get their attention.