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Dominican Republic’s president stands resolute on his closing of all borders with Haiti

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The president of the Dominican Republic is defending his resolution to shut air, sea and land visitors with neighboring Haiti in a dispute over development of a canal concentrating on a river that runs by way of each nations


September 17, 2023, 7:59 PM

Dominican Republic safety forces stand guard on a border bridge between Dajabón, Dominican Republic, and Haiti, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. The president of the Dominican Republic introduced Thursday that he would shut all borders with neighboring Haiti beginning Friday in response to the development of a supposed canal on Haitian soil that targets waters from the Bloodbath River, which runs alongside the border shared by each nations. (AP Picture/Ricardo Hernández)

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The president of the Dominican Republic on Sunday defended his resolution to shut air, sea and land visitors with neighboring Haiti of their dispute over development of a canal concentrating on a river that runs by way of each nations.

President Luis Abinader mentioned in a televised speech that the border closures begun Friday will stay in place till development is halted on the canal, which seeks to make use of water from the Bloodbath River to alleviate a drought in Haiti’s Maribaroux plain.

“We don’t want or search confrontation, however we’re confronting the uncontrollable individuals who maintain Haiti insecure, and who, as a result of their non-public pursuits, now additionally conspire in opposition to the soundness of their authorities and the safety of our water sources,” Abinader mentioned throughout his temporary speech, referring to gang violence that has engulfed Haiti.

Accusing Haiti of violating a 1929 treaty between each nations, he mentioned that the Bloodbath River is a key useful resource for Dominican farmers and that development may harm the environment, together with a wetland.

“The precedent of an irrigation mission constructed unilaterally can result in an escalation of constructions that may destroy the river,” Abinader mentioned.

The river is called after a bloody battle between French and Spanish colonizers, and it was the positioning of a mass killing of Haitians by the Dominican military in 1937.

The complete border shutdowns got here 4 days after Abinader introduced that his administration had stopped issuing visas to Haitians and had closed the border close to the northern city of Dajabon.

He mentioned it was necessary to boost consciousness within the worldwide neighborhood so it involves Haiti’s support.

“There is no such thing as a Dominican resolution to Haiti’s downside,” Arbinader mentioned. “We can’t be requested for greater than what we already do.”

A spokesperson for the workplace of Haiti’s prime minister declined remark Sunday and referred to a Friday assertion condemning Abinader’s resolution to shutter all borders whereas either side had been assembly to discover a resolution. Haiti’s authorities has mentioned it helps the canal mission.

Haiti additionally has requested assist to assist quell a surge in gang violence, with the U.S. saying it might submit a U.N. Safety Council decision that may authorize Kenya’s supply to guide a multinational police pressure.

A decision has but to be submitted, and no timetable has been offered.

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