Privert thanks DR for aid, Haitian legislators call it an invasion
Acting President of Haiti Jocelerme Privert was prompt to call Minister of Foreign Relations Miguel Vargas after the media reported that the Haitian Congress had described the Dominican food aid as an “invasion of Dominican products” giving Privert a 24-hour ultimatum on Friday, 14 October 2016 to ensure the removal of all Dominican military personnel from Haitian territory.
Eight days after southern Haiti was devastated by Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm, the Dominican government sent a convoy of 500 trucks laden with food, construction material and heavy machinery to repair roads and other essential infrastructure. Military personnel escorted the convoy due to the security problems in Haiti. The aid was sent after President Medina visited Haiti and in response to a formal request made by Privert’s government with a list of urgent needs.
According to reports, after the statement by the legislators, on Sunday morning, 16 October 2016 Privert thanked the Dominican government for the humanitarian aid it had sent to Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and expressed his personal gratitude to President Medina for the prompt assistance.
Meanwhile, the Haitian legislators objected to the large amount of Dominican products and called for the Dominican government to remove the soldiers who were camped at the Haitian navy base near Port-au-Prince after arriving with the convoy on Wednesday, 12 October 2016.
Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem said that all the soldiers who had accompanied the convoy to ensure security and to protect the humanitarian supplies returned to the Dominican Republic on Saturday, 15 October 2016. Minister of Defense Paulino Sem said that 148 of the 500 vehicles would remain in Haiti while the others would return once their cargo has been unloaded.
Paulino Sem said that the soldiers had returned because their mission to protect the aid and the convoy staff had ended.
Commenting on the order by the legislators, former President Hipólito Mejía stated that if the legislators do not want the food they could return it to the Dominican Republic to be distributed to country’s own poor people.
A Reuters news item reported that desperate Haitians had looted United Nations trucks.
Source: DR1, Hoy
Oct 17, 2016
Category: DR News |