Tuesday, March 30, 2004

DR: Regaining control in Haiti

El Caribe reported on Sunday and again today that the presence of French troops on the Haitian border seems to indicate that the provisional government will be taking control of the troubled area around Juana Mendez (Ounaminthe). About twenty troops arrived Saturday in Juana Mendez as part of the plan to take control of the northern region of Haiti. The soldiers went as far as the International Bridge which crosses the Massacre River and divides the Dominican Republic from Haiti. One of the troops, using rebel leader Johnny Cesar as an interpreter, said that 150 more soldiers would be arriving on Sunday in time for the new civilian authorities to be in place by Monday. Since 19 February, the frontier has been controlled by elements of the Resistance for Peace in Haiti, which have charged tolls and taxes for crossing over the border. As a result, the traditional commerce between the two nations has slowed to a crawl.

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