Dominican Republic Shuts Border With Haiti Over Water Spat
Umer Jamshaid Published September 15, 2023 | 10:40 AM
Santo Domingo, Sept 15 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Sep, 2023 ) :Dominican President Luis Abinader on Thursday announced the closure of the country's border with Haiti, escalating a diplomatic row over access to a shared river.
Since the beginning of the month, the Dominican Republic's government has complained about Haitian plans to build a canal on the shared Massacre River, saying it violates several border treaties between the two nations, which share the island of Hispaniola.
He described the construction of the canal -- aimed at providing water to Haitian farmers -- as a "provocation this government is not going to accept." Haiti fired back saying it was within its right to make use of the shared river, in line with a 1929 agreement.
As part of the canal dispute, the Dominican government on Monday suspended visas for Haitians. Last week it closed the Dajabon border crossing -- one of the most important, where a cross-frontier market takes place twice a week.
Haiti, among the world's poorest nations, has been gripped by years of economic and political crisis, exacerbated by a rise in gang violence.
This has prompted thousands of Haitians to flee the country, seeking work in the more prosperous Dominican Republic, which has toughened its immigration policy in response.