SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CMC) — The president of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader has announced plans to build a fence along its border with Haiti which extends for about 380kms or 236 miles.
According to Abinader, the barrier will help curb illegal immigration, drugs and the flow of stolen vehicles between the two countries, which share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. He also said work on the barrier would start later this year.
“In a period of two years, we want to put an end to the serious problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and the movement of stolen vehicles,” Abinader said in an address to Congress.
The cost of the project has not been disclosed.
Abinader said the barrier in some “conflictive” sections would include a double fence along with motion sensors, infrared systems and facial recognition cameras.
Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere and relations between the two neighbours have been historically difficult.
The Dominican Republic, which has a population of about 11 million, has already constructed some stretches of fencing along the border.
It is estimated that about 500,000 Haitian migrants are living in the country — many of them there illegally.
In January, the Government agreed to help Haiti provide identity papers to its citizens living in the neighbouring territory.