The perceived solidarity around the construction of the canal on the Massacre River is impacting other
sectors of the country’s socio-political life. The Association of Industries (L’Association des Industries
d’Haïti (ADIH) saw this as a golden opportunity to revive local production. The group said to have
understood for quite some time that the lack of control over the Dominican-Haitian border threatens
national security and contributes to the steep decline in national production. A report published in 2019
revealed that exports worth hundreds of millions of dollars from the Dominican Republic enter the
country illegally each year, depriving the Haitian government of the revenue needed to create jobs and
provide essential services while at the same time stifling the growth of the agricultural and industrial
sectors. On the other hand, Haitians who are unable to find employment, education, or healthcare at
home go to the Dominican Republic, increasing the number of undocumented immigrants there.
Influential parliamentarians and businesspeople bribe or intimidate customs officials, allowing
importers to send shipments to the country without adequate inspection. Dominican soldiers only allow
Haitian workers or traders to cross the border if they pay bribes to avoid deportation. The group
launched a plea in Haiti and the United States for border control because this would benefit all parties.
After all, alongside smuggling, all sorts of trafficking occur at the border, posing a threat to the security
of the US and all countries in the region. Haiti needs Dominican products and expertise, while the
Dominican Republic needs Haitian workers and access to foreign markets. According to the president
of the trade group, Wilhelm Lemke, this is an opportune time for the private sector to draw attention to
what is going on at the border because border control is an essential element in resolving the crisis
facing the nation, and they as businesspeople are willing to play a significant role in revitalizing
On the topic of the multinational security support mission (MSSM) to Haiti, Kenya, which is slated to
head the contingency of peacekeepers, is said to be ready to commit its police officers in the push to
control the gangs in the country, which are estimated to be at least 9,000. Kenyan President William
Ruto was in Europe last week to seek European support for the mission. Speaking to the European
Parliament, it was estimated that the mission would need approximately 5,000 members. According to
the Kenyan leader, the EU’s support is critical to strengthening the initiative by providing the necessary
resources and legitimacy. Recently, the Kenyan Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki indicated that before
any members of the Kenyan Security forces are deployed outside the country, the sum of US$ 245
million must be paid to the nation for the deployment. Also, though the government has approved the
mission, there’s still a legal holdout in which the High Court must decide on the mission’s fate on
January 26, 2024.
Elsewhere, armed gangs attacked the coastal neighborhood of “Ca-Ira” in Léogâne last Saturday night,
seizing two boats that belonged to the non-profit group “Food for the Poor.” Infiltrating from the sea,
the gangs also made away with a motorcycle and other valuable items taken from homes and shops
they burglarized. A resident was physically assaulted by the gangs who targeted this same
neighborhood a few months earlier. The gangs came ashore at the seaside resort Le Boucanier in Ça-
Ira, where they attacked employees for several hours, looting and scampering when police intervened.
Previously, the El Lobo beach in the Petite-Rivière section and beaches in the neighboring commune of
Gressier had suffered a similar fate.
Since the armed gangs’ advances on Mariani, a border area between Gressier and Carrefour that they
now occupy, the fear of seeing the city of Anacaona fall into the list of regions controlled by gangs is
intensifying among the population. Just early on Monday afternoon, November 27, 2023, at least seven
passengers were shot aboard a minibus in Mariani. Residents report a clash between police officers and
bandits who have occupied the area at the southern exit of Carrefour for several weeks. Several PNH
armored vehicles were noticed on site. The injured were sent to Gressier and Léogâne. The Sainte-
Croix hospital in Léogâne, the main hospital in the commune, indicated having taken care of “six
people affected by projectiles. The local police, who arrived on the scene, reprimanded those
responsible for failing to call the Léogâne police station. And elsewhere in Carrefour-Feuilles, at least
six (6) people were killed and many more injured last Saturday when armed members from the Grand
Ravin gang attacked the neighborhood, torturing, killing, and burning the bodies of their victims while
others were kidnapped. Savane Pistache and Saieh residents have been advised on social media to
return to their homes, but others warn them from returning due to the lack of police in the area.
Dominican President Luis Abinader maintains that biometric registration at the border is necessary to
guarantee his country’s national security. In a meeting with Tony Blair, the president discussed the
tension between the two countries, as the former British Premier offered to mediate the dispute.
Borders remain closed due to disagreement over the canal construction. However, they will remain
open for trade, provided that Haitian traders are subject to biometric registration. Despite Haiti’s
objection, Abinader has been resolute that the biometric registration at the border is not negotiable
because this measure is a crucial element of his national security strategy.
The UN and European Union have launched a campaign against violence against women and girls. As
part of the events marking the 2023 edition of the International Day against Violence against Women
and Girls, the Spotlight Initiate of the organizations mentioned above is embarking on a significant
awareness campaign around the theme “Sispann fè vyolans sou fanm ak ti fi, respekte tèt ou .”The
campaign also recognizes that in Haiti, women are not the only victims of violence but rather the entire
population, so the need to keep this awareness is significant. The campaign will be launched
nationwide and on social media, supported by a host of spokespeople who influence the country.
Starting from November 25, 2023, around thirty personalities such as Emeline Michel, Beethova Obas,
BelO, Phyllisia Ross, James Germain, Richard Cavé, Ti Joe Zenny, Pauline Jean, Gessica Généus,
James Noël, Kako Bourjolly, Wyclef Jean, Dominique Anglade or Isabelle Racicot will be mobilized to
be the visual representatives carrying the message across the nation.