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Haiti - Security : Occupation of the former barracks, governmental measures
04/03/2012 08:14:33

Haiti - Security : Occupation of the former barracks, governmental measures
A working meeting was held last Wednesday at the National Palace on the unauthorized presence of armed men in military fatigues, occupying the former barracks of the Armed Forces of Haiti and sites belonging to the Haitian State. Headed by the President Martelly, have taken part in this meeting, members of the Supreme Council of the National Police, the President of the Commissions Justice and Security of the Senate and of the House of Deputies.

The following provisions have been adopted :

a) The formal ban to these people to move in military fatigues and armed.

b) The Primature, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the Ministry of Interior, Local Authorities and National Defence have each designated a representative responsible for :

1. Take stock of work done to date, by the Office of Demobilized Soldiers, established in 2004, and at the same time, restructure that office;
2. Ensure the smooth process of military compensation;
3. Meet with representatives of different sites occupied and collect their grievances, if any;
4. Make formal injunction to release, in the shortest time, the different spaces occupied. Fault by them to do it, it will taken the measures envisaged by the law.

The Presidency stressed that it had given formal instructions to the services and bodies concerned to maintain order and public peace throughout the national territory and reminds to everyone that the Constitution of a new force that can be done only in order, discipline and respect of laws into force.

Pending the report of the State Commission of organization of the military component of the Public Force, created Dec. 2, 2011, the Presidency encourages dialogue between all the forces of the nation for a peaceful and successful outcome to this situation.

In reference to legal measure in case of refusal to leave the area, it is good to remember what the law says. The Penal Code establishes in its >Article 158 : "Any public servant, either civil or military, revoked, dismissed, suspended or prohibited by law, who, after having been officially informed, will have continued the line of duty, or who, being elected or temporary, will have exercised them after being replaced, will be punished by imprisonment of at least six months and two years at most, and a fine of twenty-four gourds to ninety-six gourds. He will be prohibited from the exercise of any public service, for at least one year and three years at most, from the day where he underwent his sentence; all without prejudice of the strongest penalties brought against the officers or the military commanders by Article 70 of this code"

It is certain that this is not the fines of 24 to 96 gourdes that can be dissuasive... As for the imprisonment of hundreds of people one might ask under what penitentiary institutions they could be imprisoned, given the overcrowding of prisons is no longer a show in Haiti... Enforce the law, is a priority for the Haitian state, but resolving this situation might not be simple, if those who occupy these former bases, refuse the dialogue and the return to reason.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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