Dominican Government Responds to UN Expert’s Concerns over Haiti Border Closure

2023-09-18 21:52:37

The Dominican Government responded to the statements of the expert appointed by the United Nations (UN) on human rights in Haiti, who expressed this Monday his “extreme alarm” over the closure of the Dominican Republic’s border with the neighboring country and urged the local authorities to reconsider their decision.

Through a statement signed by Foreign Minister Roberto Álvarez, the Government expressed “deep concern” about the statements William O’Neill issued this Monday during the General Assembly.

Below is the full statement published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Mr. William O’Neill, independent human rights expert for Haiti from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, today issued a statement regarding recent actions by the Dominican Government.

The Dominican Government expresses its deep concern about the lack of response from the United Nations to the serious humanitarian, security and political crisis that has affected Haiti for years. Since 2021, we have been urging the international community to respond to the call for help from the Haitian authorities, recognizing the impact that this crisis has on our region and, in particular, on our country.

We therefore reject outright Mr. O’Neill’s biased and unfortunate statements. First of all, we reiterate that any dialogue with Haiti is conditional on the effective stopping of the unilateral and illegal construction of the canal on the Dajabón River. The joint statement of May 27 to which Mr. O’Neill refers was based on this condition, as confirmed by the statements of Minister Roberto Álvarez on May 31, 2021 and his communication to the Haitian Foreign Minister on July 6, 2021 , in which the minister reiterated his call for dialogue under that condition.

Secondly, Mr. O’Neill mentions the immigration issue, which is unrelated to the canal conflict. As we expressed in the response to Mr. O’Neill on June 29, we are not responsible for the internal situation in Haiti and it is not reasonable that our country has to ensure the social well-being of Haitians. The internal situation in Haiti is not an obstacle to the application of our General Migration Law. President Luis Abinader has stated that “Haiti’s problem is no longer in Haiti, it is in the hands of the international community,” and we hope that it will act accordingly.

The Dominican Government takes note of the request to allow humanitarian aid to pass to Haiti, but reiterates that the immediate and definitive solution to this problem is in the hands of Haiti, when it decides to put an end to the construction of the canal.

Likewise, it is important to clarify that it is premature to speak of international arbitration when there is no conflict between two governments, since the crisis has been generated by private, opportunistic and irresponsible Haitian actors, added to the humanitarian, public order and security crisis in Haiti. , which affects your government’s ability to enforce the rule of law.

We want to emphasize President Abinader’s message from yesterday: “The situation on our border is under control. The population can rest assured, since there are no threats to their daily activities throughout the country. Peace and security in the Dominican Republic are guaranteed”.

We want to reiterate to Dominican society and the international community that this is not a conflict between two peoples, since neither the Dominicans nor the Haitians want confrontation. Our people want to live in peace. We are not looking for a confrontation, but we do confront the uncontrollable forces that generate insecurity in Haiti.

We reiterate the willingness of the Dominican Government to seek solutions that guarantee security and protect our natural resources.

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