Update on the Masacre River canal construction conflict with Haiti

The conflict between the Dominican Republic and Haiti over diverting the Masacre River waters that divide both countries continues. The Dominican government has asked for a stop to the constructing of a canal that farmers in the Dominican Republic say would affect their use of the waters. President Luis Abinader says that Haitian President Ariel Henry has said he understands the predicament but cannot control the group that is going ahead with the construction. Reports are that the Haitian military custody the construction enabling its progress.

Listin Diario shared the clause of a 1929 agreement between both countries that bans the channeling of the waters in detriment to one or the other country. “Because rivers and other water courses arise in the territory of one state and flow through the territory of the other or serve as boundaries between the two states, both contracting parties undertake not to make or consent to ‘no work capable of changing the current of those or of altering the product of their sources,’ explains the first paragraph of the “Treaty of Peace, Perpetual Friendship and Arbitration.”

A second clause of the agreement states: “This provision may not be interpreted in the sense of depriving either of the two states of the right to use, fairly and equitably, within the limits of their respective territories, said rivers and other watercourses for the irrigation of lands and other agricultural and industrial purposes.”

Dominican President Horacio Vásquez and Haitian President Louis Bornó signed the treaty in 1929.

The Abinader administration has ordered a stop to visas, the shutdown of the free crossing for market days and a shutdown of crossing through the northern gate. The Dominican government is giving until Thursday, 14 September 2023 for the construction to be halted or all border gates will be shut down for crossing.

The government is allowing Haitians to return to their country. But no commercial merchandise can cross through the gates that lead to roads. Nevertheless, most of the border lands with Haiti are not under surveillance and thus are open for free crossings.

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Diario Libre
Diario Libre
El Dia
El Dia
Listin Diario

DR1 News

13 September 2023