Haiti - Security : Graduation of the 1st promotion of the Border Police
Prime Minister Lafontant said "It is with honor that I participate in your graduation. To you, first cohort of police officers of the specialized unit of the border police, I wish for courage ! Success will be collective !"
Canada was proud to participate in creating this unit of border police, essential to the functioning of the Haitian state, thanks to a program's contribution to the stabilization and peacekeeping operations (PSOPs) of 3 million CAD, to the International Organization for Migration (IOM-Haiti), responsible for the implementation of the project in partnership with the PNH.
In his speech for the occasion Michel-Ange Gédéon declared "[...] It is with pleasure that I receive you this morning on the occasion of this activity which consecrates the true existence of the specialized unit of the border police called PoliFront whose fundamental mission is the security of the border.
I would like to thank the President of the Republic for his support for this initiative, which is aimed only at the security of the country and the fight against transnational organized crime.
[...] The border is the gateway to and from the territory. It is also the first and last impression of the country.
[...] Today, with transnational organized crime, drugs, arms trafficking, child trafficking and terrorism are coming together to form the other side of globalization. These phenomena threaten peace, undermine multidimensional development and, above all, jeopardize the security of states. Thus, the issue of border security has become a major concern for states around the world.
Here, we must also add contraband because according to the work of a mixed Haitian-Dominican group the amount of contraband represented in April 2016 more than 400 million dollars a year. Based on the data that has come to me, I think it's more than that.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a shortfall that our country could use for development, early childhood education, our youth, and so on [...]
[...] It is therefore at once a citizen's duty, a sovereign function, an absolute necessity of the moment to ensure the presence of the State, the Haitian National Police at our borders and our coasts.
[...] Haiti and the Dominican Republic share a land border of 388 km. This common space is both a source of great economic opportunities and major threats to public security. The territory begins and ends at the border. The border is therefore of prime importance.
The PNH must amplify its presence by obligation and prudence. We did not create this unit long ago. Among other things, it will be responsible for monitoring and securing the four official crossing points between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but also and above all those of a hundred or so other points that are sometimes more dangerous and more threatening for the security of the country. The realities are there.
[...] What would be the point if we were to ensure border security by violating the rights of the human person ? Thus, I invite you to carry out your mission by applying the law and normative texts of the PNH, in strict respect of the rights of the Haitian citizens and foreigners. Among the entities, I would like to detach women and children. Indeed, groups at the border mentioned some cases that caught our attention, especially in Ouanaminthe."
Note that among other means of surveillance of traffic at the border, the PoliFront will use drones as have already done the Dominicans for a long time.
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