Dominican Republic deploys thousands of troops along border with Haiti

Dominican Republic deploys thousands of troops along border with Haiti

Saturday, February 20, 2021

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SANTO DOMINGO (CMC) — The Dominican Armed Forces have deployed 7,200 troops on the border with Haiti and so far this year have intercepted and returned more than 38,000 Haitians who illegally crossed the territorial division to the neighbouring country.

Speaking with reporters on Friday, the general commander of the Dominican Republic Army, Julio Ernesto Florian Perez, said if more soldiers are needed “we will use them so that the country is safe in this part of the territory”.

Florian noted that the Dominican military recently caught “some people wanted” by the Haitian justice system and “some criminals” who were handed over to the Haitian National Police in the border province of Dajabon.

The former mayor of Port-au-Prince Ralph Youry Chevry was arrested last Sunday in Dajabón together with the former official Wenson Pierre, the Haitian policeman Antonine Maquendy and the civilian Wiquenesonnt Despiene because they did not have passports or visas to enter the national territory, said the Ministry of Defense.

Chevry, against whom the Haitian government has issued an arrest warrant, has not requested asylum in the Dominican Republic, said Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez yesterday.  He also affirmed that Haiti had not asked for his extradition.

Florian assured that the surveillance by air and land would be maintained to “provide all the security” as a result of the socio-political situation that Haiti is going through.

“We are vigilant together with the General Directorate of Migration…more than 38,000 people who tried to enter the country illegally have already been captured,” he said.

He also warned that “the persecution against undocumented people who were doing agricultural and construction work will begin to be regularised” since the authorities granted grace for these people due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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