Unrest at the border between Haiti and Dominican Republic
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Haiti and the Dominican Republic reinforced troops at their shared border after violence broke out at a protest in the Dominican Republic demanding extradition of a Haitian man accused of murder in both countries, Haiti's foreign minister said on Monday.

Foreign Minister Alrich Nicolas said the two governments met to try to resolve the problem on Saturday, a day after the violence in the border town of Dajabon.

"We have sent more troops on the border and the Dominican government has done the same," Nicolas told Reuters.

The Haitian consul in the Dominican province of Dajabon, Jean-Baptiste Bien-Aime, said Wilson Destine had killed a young woman in Haiti then fled to the Dominican Republic. Destine, whom the diplomat called a notorious bandit, then gunned down a Dominican man on July 17 and fled back across the border to Haiti, Bien-Aime said.

"The Haitian bandit shot (the Dominican) in the neck, took away his motorcycle and crossed the border to the Haitian city of Ouanaminthe," Bien-Aime told Reuters.

Destine is jailed in Haiti, police said.

Violence broke out on Friday in a marketplace in Dajabon, where vendors from both nations sell their goods. Dominican protesters demanded Destine's immediate extradition and used machetes, batons and rocks to chase out the Haitian vendors, forcing them to leave behind their wares, Bien-Aime said.

Dominican authorities used tear gas to break up the protest and later blocked Haitian vendors from entering the country.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The border was calm on Monday but fears remained that tensions could erupt again.

The Haitian police chief in Ouanaminthe, Jean-Claude Jean, said Destine was being held at police headquarters in Fort-Liberte, but that police lacked authority to extradite anyone and the issue had to be negotiated at top levels of both governments.

"We had been looking for Wilson Destine for a while because he was involved in other criminal activities here in Ouanaminthe," Jean said. "I understand that he committed a crime other there, but he also committed crimes here too. So we have to keep him and hand him over to Haitian judicial authorities for prosecution."

Dominican Watchdog Note:

Check unrest in the area by contacting the local embassy of your country. There has been several unrest situations in The Domincian Republic during last couple of months.


Go back | Date: 28 Jul 2009
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