Dominican Republic receives OAS mission to discuss crisis with Haiti

Santo Domingo, Oct. 16 (EFE) – A mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) met Monday with Dominican Foreign Minister Roberto Álvarez and other officials to get information on the country’s border dispute with Haiti.

The neighboring countries are at odds over the construction of a canal on the Haitian side, which the Dominicans consider “illegal”.

The delegation that will meet includes OAS Secretary of Legal Affairs Jean Michel Arrighi and Andrés Sánchez of the OAS Secretariat for Integral Development, the Dominican Foreign Ministry reported in a document.

Álvarez told the commissioners that the canal being built in Haiti to take water from the Masacre or Dajabón River could have significant impacts not only environmentally, but also socially and economically.

“The management of water and related natural resources has a direct impact on the Saladillo Lagoon and the agricultural and fishing communities that depend on the river and other wetlands for their livelihoods,” the Chancellor reiterated.

According to the senior official, the OAS mission “plays a crucial role in this scenario. Its experience and expertise provide an invaluable platform to address these issues in an impartial and objective manner, guided by a commitment to strengthening peace and cooperation in our region”.

The Chancellor added: “We hope that this process can lead to a solution that takes into account the concerns of both nations and strengthens the institutional and legal architecture that governs our bilateral relations”.

For his part, Commissioner Arrighi explained that the purpose of this visit was to gather technical information in order to understand the situation.

Dominican officials in the area explained the flood risks associated with the Haitian construction and the characteristics of the water intakes that the Dominican Republic has in the Dajabón River on the Dominican side, which do not affect the Haitian part, and are even used by Haitian farmers.

The information assured that Minister Álvarez stated that Haiti is at an important political moment in view of the imminent deployment of a Multinational Security Support Mission in that country that will facilitate the “restoration of institutions and public order”.

The Dominican Foreign Ministry said that this OAS mission is expected to make a visit to the border on the Dominican side and upon its return to Washington, it will present a report to the Secretary General of the organization, Luis Almagro, and to all member states.

Dominican President Luis Abinader said on Tuesday that the most important thing for his country was security and that the measures taken at the border with Haiti would be maintained.

Some measures have been relaxed since last Wednesday, but Haitians have decided not to cross Dominican territory to resume commercial exchanges.

The Dominican Republic has demanded that Haiti stop the construction of the canal, but the Haitian authorities say they will not do so. Both countries have asked the OAS to mediate.EFE


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