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Haiti - Security : First step of the army, a Corps of Engineers
29/08/2012 14:20:57

Haiti - Security : First step of the army, a Corps of Engineers
Jean Rodolphe Joazile, the Minister of Defense provided an update on the vision of the Ministry and the steps to cross to ensure that the future army of Haiti respond to the real needs of the country "We do not run to say, since there is a Ministry of Defence, we must put an army, but we say, that we must look what institutions within the National Defence may be useful to society."

"[...] Today, when we speak of Defence it is true that the first thing that is in the minds of everyone, it is the army, but today we have a military institution that has been demobilized in 95-96 [...] We must seek the causes of this demobilization and we arrived at the conclusion that it is simply because the army was poorly established ,because the army in its doctrine, in its training, fulfill a police role, a role of proximity with the population. There was a long period of dictatorship, resulting tha the army had positions, of implications in the coups etc... all these things have accumulated and have broken the army and when it broke, it took with it, the foundations of the Nation.

Today we are saying is true that we have a Ministry of Defence but we must not repeat the same mistakes, we must build things well [...] we do not run to say, since there is a Ministry of Defence, we must put an army, but we say, that we must look what institutions within the National Defence may be useful to society. Certainly army is one, but [...] I think there is too much challenge today to center the issue of national defense on the question of the army only. It is only from October that we will have our own budget, the Finance Ministry had put means at our disposal in order to carry out the studies that we needed during these 4 months.

[...] We went exploring with the defense ministers of Brazil and Ecuador the ways of cooperation with Haiti. I heard a lot about this issue, people have said that Ecuador and Brazil will come to make the army for us, I take this opportunity to make a formal denial [on these rumors], it is not that we solved in these travels. [...] the President asked me to make of contacts [...] to see how we could structure, at the level of Ministry of Defence a engineering service, which will provide service to the people even in the remotest corners [...] it is on this basis that Ecuador and Brazil, within the framework of cooperation with Haiti, agreed to train engineers for us [...] I think that if we can establish a Corps of Engineers and a garage capable to take charge the fleet of the State, it will be a step in the right direction.

We think that in the situation at risk [Climate] in which Haiti is today, if the Ministry of Defence has a Corps of Engineers within it, it will be very useful for the people and we'll see the other sector after. For the moment, we are focusing on this issue, parallel we need a health service, as we say that we need a new model of citizen, this is a great opening that we find through a mandatory civil service for boys and girls. These are things that we must implement on the ground, which will give us all other entities that we need, within the Ministry of Defence. [...]

[...] It is true that the President made a campaign promise, and expressed its willingness to respect that promise on the issue of armed forces, by con, we say today if we redo the army, I guarantee you that this army can not resist, if it is not rebuilt on new basis. Whatever the type of army that will be created, it should not be built on the ruins of the former armed forces. Secondly this army must be completely outside the political and essentially at the service of development [and people].

To achieve this, there are a number of prerequisites that we have to do before, what basis we will give it, in the meantime, we say : is the problem of Haiti is a problem of army ? I did not say no, but we say, that we need to put in place all the structures that are needed before, so that when the day came, the army has a good foundation, it is a matter of time. We are convinced that if today we open recruitment center, that we say to everyone to come wearing the uniform, the army will disappear again, I'm sure... I was in the army [...]"

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