Dominican and Haitian chancellors meet today after bi-national tensions
SD. After weeks of episodes filled with tension in the bi-national relations, which brought about the temporary closure of the Dominican consulates in Haiti, today a meeting is set between the chancellors of the island, in Guatemala, within the framework of the XX Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).
In the bilateral meeting, at an undisclosed time, it is expected that chancellors Andres Navarro of the Dominican Republic and Pierre Duly Brutus, of Haiti, will renew the policy talks.
The Ministry of Foreign Relations reported that last weekend Navarro participated in working sessions with the Dominican ambassador in Haiti, the five consuls and part of the leadership group of the Ministry in order to coordinate normalizing the diplomatic missions.
The recent discrepancies between Haiti and the Dominican Republic began in January of this year, when on the second of that month there was an atmosphere of uneasiness at the frontier town of Anse-a-Pitre (next to Pedernales), after violent protests by Haitians that demanded the release of three fishermen arrested in Dominican waters.
Calm returned, after Haitian authorities guaranteed the departure of the personnel from the Dominican consulate in that city who had remained inside for fear of being attacked.
On 11 February a Haitian was found hung from a tree in the Ercilia Pepin Park in Santiago. The authorities have still not given conclusive details regarding the incident, and now the police are reporting that this week two Haitian generals from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations of their country will come to Santiago “as invitees” in order to “add” to the investigations.
Accusing the Dominican Republic of racism and xenophobia, hundreds of Haitians marched on 23 February in Port-au-Prince. In the middle of this incident, a group of demonstrators – that the organizers of the march said were not part of the activity – attacked the Dominican consular headquarters in that city and burned the Dominican flag.
Because of this incident, the Dominican Chancellery recalled their ambassador and the consul in Port-au-Prince for consultations, a process that brought with it the decision announced on 4 March to temporarily close the diplomatic missions in Haiti until their security is guaranteed.
Last Friday, the Haitian Chancellor sent a letter to his counterpart in the Dominican Republic to inform him that the authorities of his country have reinforced the security arrangements. It is expected that today’s meeting will bring about an improvement in the bi-national relations.
DAJABON. Even before 9 o’clock in the morning on Monday, thousands of Haitians gathered around the gates of the dividing line with the province of Dajabon, in order to later take part in the bi – national market which is held here in the city each Monday and Friday between Dominican and Haitian merchants. It is estimated that some RD $40 or RD $50 million pesos changes hands.
Under a larger and stricter military oversight, the people were able to buy and sell their wares without any difficulty and at five in the afternoon the gates were closed for the Haitians to return to their side. In the meantime the tractor-trailers that were being held in Haitian territory were returned.
It was reported that only one driver of a truck that was involved in an accident was detained on the Haitian side. Nonetheless, the president of the truckers’ union here, Geovanny Escotto, said that it was recommending that, starting now, the truck owners should not send anything into Haiti until guarantees are offered for their drivers, as well as for their merchandise.
He said that the authorities of both countries should think about installing a collection center in the province of Dajabon, where the Haitians can come to purchase and can themselves take merchandise to their country and so avoid Dominicans having to cross the frontier.
In order to avoid new conflicts between Dominicans and Haitians, the Specialized Corps of Frontier Security (Cesfront) increased the services by patrols in the different zones of the frontier area. Likewise the operations to detect groups of Haitians, who take advantage of the celebration of the markets in an attempt to remain in Dominican territory are also followed. In order to get past the military watch, illegal and undocumented Haitians take advantage of the night and the early morning hours. After they are detained, the undocumented Haitians are taken to the Department of Migration, where their immediate deportation takes place.
March 10, 2015
Category: DR News |