Dominican Republic warns of provocation as Haitians stage protest along border
SANTO DOMINIGO, Dominican Republic, (CMC) – The Dominican Republic has confirmed that a group of Haitians entered the country on Tuesday to protest against the patrols carried out by the Dominican army since the closure of the border between the two countries in September.
”The Dominican Government considers this action as a provocation, with the aim of generating a conflict with unpredictable consequences which will only worsen relations between the two countries We demand that the [Haitian] authorities immediately end to this type of violation,” the government said in a statement said adding “we warn that our Government will fulfill the constitutional mandate to preserve Dominican territorial sovereignty,” a statement said.
The government said the protest took place around Pyramid 13 located on the border line which divides the two countries.
“A group of Haitian nationals entered Dominican territory to obstruct the automobile patrol carried out by the Army of the Dominican Republic on the road on the west side of the intelligent peripheral fence in this border area. This action appears to be due to an apparent misunderstanding on the part of Haitian citizens regarding the boundaries of the borders that separate the two countries,” said the Dominican Republic government.
”To establish the current border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, 311 serially numbered cement pyramids were placed, beginning in the north, at the mouth of the Dajabón or Massacre River, and ending at the mouth of the Pedernales River, South,” the statement said, adding that “all these pyramids are marked with the number, the country where they are located and the year 1929,” the government added.
It said that Pyramid 13 belongs to the Dominican Republic, adding “the Dominican Republic Army has all the powers to carry out patrols in this area”.
In September, the Dominican Republic president, Luis Abinader, issued an order for the complete closure of the country’s border with Haiti, encompassing land, air, and sea routes, as the two countries which make up the Caribbean island of Hispaniola continue to be at odds over the excavation of a supposed canal in Haiti that the Spanish-speaking country says will divert water from the Massacre River and harm its farmers and the environment.
The river, which runs in both countries, is named for a bloody battle between Spanish and French colonisers in the 1700s.
The Haitian government has not yet officially reacted to the latest incident, but in the statement Santo Domingo said “fortunately, the incident did not escalate thanks to the professionalism of our soldiers, who acted with caution and in compliance with human rights, international agreements and treaties.”