PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — The Dominican Republic has sent 600 soldiers to reinforce the border with Haiti in a bid to prevent Haitians illegally entering the country during and after the holiday season.
The authorities in Santo Domingo said that the soldiers would remain in place until January 13 as part of the anti-return operation.
Earlier this month, Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem announced the launch of the anti-return operation for Haitians, who travel to the French-speaking Caribbean Community country to spend the Christmas and New Year and then attempt to return illegally to the Dominican Republic in January with their parents.
He said the operation will be deployed in the five border provinces and that measures to prevent these illegal Haitians returning to the Dominican Republic will be conducted by the armed forces.
Directorate General of Migration (DGM) Major General Gonell Regalado said that the decision to send the 600 soldiers to the border was to cover some of the weak points in the area through which many Haitians enter illegally and also to reinforce the border control points.
“There will be all-terrain vehicles in addition, equipment night vision, three additional helicopters and many other specialised equipment to ensure a better job in this region of the country which will be added to the 500 cameras already in place with infrared vision,” he said.
The reinforcements are in addition to the existing control system which includes 80 permanent military posts and more than 7,000 deployed men monitoring the 360 km border on the Dominican side.
Haiti and Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles.