The Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, gave a speech this Friday afternoon to the 78th General Assembly of the United Nationsin which he defended the construction of a water canal across the Masacre River by the Haitians.
Contrary to what the Dominican President had said Luis Abinader As for Henry’s stance on the canal, that the work was a “private initiative”, the Prime Minister surprised by endorsing and even endorsing the withdrawal of water from the controversial river emphasized in the Dominican Republic respect the Peace, Friendship and Arbitration Treaty of 1929 and that Joint Statement 2021, In it, the Dominican government recognized that the construction of the canal did not constitute a diversion of the river.
“Haiti reaffirms its sovereign right to use its binational water resources in the same way as the Dominican Republic and calls for a fair distribution of this river’s resources.”Ariel HenryPrime Minister of Haiti
Henry said his country chooses to do so Type of dialogue to resolve differences with the Dominican government. He stated that the Massacre River has been a source of tension between both countries and history itself invites it “so as not to let these wounds revive or affect others.”
“The people of Haiti are choosing the path of dialogue and negotiation to be able to do this to resolve differences peacefully within the framework of the agreement already signed in 1929 and 2021,” he said.
He further argued that “the Story “It reminds us daily that violence with a brother country brings only bitterness that is passed on from generation to generation.”
DR also wants a dialogue, but demands that the construction of the canal be stopped
The Dominican government, the closed the borders with Haiti last Friday, September 15thsuspended visas and Nine Haitians were banned from entering the country Those he identified as the channel’s alleged “financiers” reiterated this in his speech to the United Nations is not against resuming dialogue with HaitiHowever, he said this will happen if the water works, which are more than 80% progressed, are stopped.
In his speech this Wednesday to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President said Luis Abinader He contextualized that the Dajabón River originates in Loma de Cabrera, in Dominican territory, and runs for 55 kilometers until it returns to his country in Manzanillo Bay. He pointed out that the structure will be built in the two kilometers where the river enters Haitian territory. At the time, he said it was sponsored by “a small economic elite” to profit from its sales to small producers in the region.
He complained that the construction of the canal was never discussed with the Dominican government, nor was any documentation provided on its size, environmental impact and benefits.
He expressed that despite the “sparse information available,” the analyzes carried out by his government “show that the work threatens access to water for hundreds of Dominican and Haitian farming families downstream from where the canal will be built.” .
What is the 2021 Joint Statement between the Dominican Republic and Haiti about?
The 2021 agreement he was referring to Ariel Henry is a Joint statement signed by both countries.
Due to the resistance of the Dominican government since the start of the work (2018), the countries held understanding meetings, most recently the meeting of the Agriculture and Environment Subcommittee of the Bilateral Joint Commission May 27, 2021 which concluded with a Joint Declaration in which the Dominican Republic agreed to:
“In recognition of the information presented today by the representatives of the Delegation of the Republic of Haiti and in the spirit of understanding and exchange of information, as established in the Treaty of 1929, that the water supply works have begun on the Dajabón or Masacre River collection This is not a diversion of the riverbed”.
At this meeting it was agreed to form one technical table for a better understanding of work on transboundary rivers.
However, Four days later, on May 31 of the same year, President Luis Abinader called for the work to be stopped. This indicates that the canal could not be connected to the river because this would require the construction of a dam or retaining wall that would divert the river, in violation of Article 10 of the 1929 Treaty, which states:
“Since rivers and other watercourses originate in the territory of one State and flow through the territory of the other State or serve as frontiers between the two States, both High Contracting Parties undertake not to carry out or consent to any work likely to effect “changes.” “to change the flow of these or the product of their sources.Peace treaty of 1929“
The agreement also states: “This provision shall not be construed as depriving either State of the right to use the said rivers and other watercourses within the limits of their respective territories in a fair and equitable manner.” Water used to irrigate land and for other agricultural and industrial purposes.
After the assassination of the president Jovenel Moise Work was halted until a group of farmers from the northeast set out in early September this year Haiti resumed construction in Canadarated by the President today Luis Abinader as “illegal, improvised and artisanal”.
This Thursday, the Haitian Agriculture Minister Bredy Charlot supported the construction of the canal, pointing out that “the canal must be built”. “Efforts must be made to direct water directly to the canals,” and he expressed his willingness to meet with “all sectors involved in the construction of the canal” to “better plan the work.”