Today marks the end of the 48-hour deadline for Haiti

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Haiti, and tensions are mounting as the deadline approaches. The ultimatum demands an immediate halt to the construction of a canal supported by Haitian factions, which aims to divert the Masacre River and redirect its waters towards rural properties. The Dominican Republic has warned that failure to comply with this demand will result in the closure of its land, sea, and air borders.

As the ultimatum’s expiration looms, concerns about the potential economic consequences for both countries are rising. However, Haiti is expected to bear the brunt of these measures, considering its longstanding struggle with multiple crises.

The National Security Council recently announced a series of measures in response to the ongoing conflict, including the suspension of visa issuance to Haitians and the prohibition of entry for individuals involved in the dispute.

Border closures have already commenced in the Dajabón area, directly affected by the canal construction. These closures will heavily impact hundreds of Haitians engaged in cross-border trade on a weekly basis, further straining the already scarce resources of Haiti’s impoverished population.

In addition to the anticipated general border closure by the Dominican government if Haiti fails to meet the demands, efforts to secure water supply for Dominican producers will involve reactivating the Dajabón River intake at the canal’s beginning. Furthermore, plans for the Don Miguel dam project, seen as a “definitive long-term solution,” will need initiation. The project’s design began in 2022, with construction estimated to last at least 30 months.

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