Santo Domingo, Sept. 9 (EFE) – Dominican President Luis Abinader said Saturday that the busiest commercial crossing between the two countries will remain closed until the Haitian government “reacts” to the construction of a canal on its side of the border that will divert water from the Masacre River that divides the two nations.
Abinader ordered the closure of this border crossing, on the northern part of the border, last Tuesday. Military presence has been increased due to tensions in the area.
According to Abinader, the Haitian government claims that the construction of the canal is a private project, but the Dominican Republic “will not accept it” because “it violates the laws.”
In statements to the press, the President acknowledged that the closure of the border affects commercial exchanges between the two countries, but “national security takes first place,” he said.
On September 1, the Dominican Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling on the Haitian authorities to “immediately stop” the resumption of construction of a canal that would divert water from the Masacre River.
The statement said that the request was based on “legitimate concerns about the potential negative effects” that this project could have on agricultural producers in both countries.
According to the Dominican Republic, this project violates the Treaty of Peace, Permanent Friendship and Arbitration of 1929, the Border Agreement of 1935 and the Border Revision Protocol of 1936, signed by both countries.
And adds that the boundary between the two countries is “definitive, immovable and non-negotiable”. EFE