Haiti - «Water War» : The human rights expert in Haiti urges the DR to reconsider their decision - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7





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Haiti - «Water War» : The human rights expert in Haiti urges the DR to reconsider their decision
19/09/2023 09:26:04

Haiti - «Water War» : The human rights expert in Haiti urges the DR to reconsider their decision
The designated United Nations expert on human rights in Haiti, William O'Neill, strongly reacted to the decision of the Dominican Republic to close all of its borders due to the continued construction of an irrigation canal in Haiti having to have a water intake on the Massacre River.

William O'Neill :
"[...] I am extremely alarmed by the decision of the Government of the Dominican Republic to close its land, sea and air border with Haiti. I urge the Government to reconsider its decision which will have serious impacts on people on both sides of the border. I further urge both governments to return to the negotiating table and follow the process outlined by the Joint Declaration of 27 May 2021 to reach a peaceful resolution of this dispute."

Dominican Ministry of Foreign Affairs :
"[...] We categorically reject Mr. O'Neill's biased and unfortunate statements. First of all, we reaffirm that any dialogue with Haiti is conditional on the effective cessation of the unilateral and illegal construction of the canal on the Dajabón River. The joint declaration of May 27, 2021 to which Mr. O'Neill refers was based on this condition https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-33823-haiti-agriculture-diversion-of-the-massacre-river-in-search-of-a-solution-with-the-dr.html , as confirmed by the statements of Minister Roberto Álvarez of May 31, 2021 and his communication to the Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs of July 6, 2021, in which the Minister reiterated its call for dialogue under this condition."


William O’Neill :
« [...] On the Haitian side, the impact will be even more dire. Due to the insecurity and gang violence in Haiti, many essential products like food, medical equipment and medicines are imported from the Dominican Republic [...]

Haiti receives at least 25% of its food from the Dominican Republic. Many schools in the border area purchase the food they use to provide lunch to their students. Access to water will also be further hindered.

I urge the Dominican Republic to allow the delivery of all forms of humanitarian assistance and essential goods to Haiti to avoid further exacerbating an already grave crisis that especially endangers the most vulnerable, including children and the elderly. [...]"

Dominican Ministry of Foreign Affairs :
"[...] The Dominican Government takes note of the request to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Haiti, but reiterates that the immediate and definitive solution to this problem is in the hands of Haiti, when it decides to end construction of the canal.

William O'Neill :
"[...] I finally call on both the Dominican and Haitian authorities to share all relevant information on the water table, hydrological studies, environmental impacts and other information outlined in the May 2021 Joint Statement to achieve a peaceful and quick end to this crisis. If such an agreement cannot be reached, I encourage both parties to agree to an international arbitration to resolve their differences."

Dominican Ministry of Foreign Affairs :
"[...] is important to clarify that it is premature to speak of international arbitration when there is no conflict between two governments, since the crisis was generated by Haitian private actors, opportunistic and irresponsible, added to the humanitarian, public order and security crisis in Haiti, which affects the ability of the Government of Haiti to enforce the rule of law. »

Let's remember that already in 2021, this canal was the subject of conflict https://www.haitilibre.com/article-33945-haiti-flash-canal-sur-la-riviere-massacre-en-haiti-le-president- dominicain-abinader-hausse-le-ton.html President Abinader deplored that the Haitian Government had started the work without informing the Dominican authorities, despite the fact that there is an agreement on water management at the border emphasizing that the Dominican Republic cannot allow intervention on the Massacre River, “which mainly originates in the Dominican Republic without the advice of the Dominican Government. This is simply unacceptable for us […] We want first, that they stop the construction of the canal, and then we can discuss a combined and effective management of the water resources of the border. But they must stop the construction of the canal, that is our demand."

HL/ HaitiLibre

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