Haiti’ President Jovenel Moise has appealed for “calm” after seven people including six Haitian nationals were injured during a shooting incident along a border crossing with the Dominican Republic.
“I regret the incidents that occurred on the border in Belladère, following a territorial violation, during which compatriots were injured. I ask the people of Belladère to keep calm. Instructions have been given to the competent authorities to accompany victims and border residents in general,” Moise said.
Moise later issued a statement on his twitter page saying “The authorities are instructed to take the appropriate measures to respect the territorial integrity of the Republic of Haiti.”
Je demande à la population de Belladère de garder son calme et sa sérénité. Des instructions ont été données aux autorités compétentes d’accompagner les victimes et les habitants frontaliers en général.
— Président Jovenel Moïse (@moisejovenel) August 18, 2018
DR says Moise statements are inappropriate
But the Ministry of Defense in the Dominican Republic described Moise statements as “inappropriate,” and categorically denied that Dominican soldiers had violated the Haitian territory.
The Ministry of Defense said the incident occurred at the border crossing of Carrizal more precisely in the neutral zone called “The chain”, where the circulation of vehicles and goods is not allowed to pass on the side of the Haitian territory.
Media reports indicate that the incident on Saturday came after Haitian nationals clashed with Dominica Republic land border security (CESFRONT) officials when three cement trucks destined for Haiti were stopped by Dominican Customs officers for regularity checks.
According to the reports, while the Dominican drivers were willing to pay the Customs duties, they were prevented from doing so by Haitian drivers.
“We repelled the aggression and we inform our superiors that they send more reinforcements, because the number of Haitians exceeded that of the military forces responsible for the surveillance of the zone,” a CESFRONT report said.
During the shooting, at least six Haitians and a Dominican soldier were wounded.
Haitian and Dominican Republic officials have since met to discuss the incident and according to the Minister of the Interior, Jean Marie Reynaldo Brunet, Haiti wants a preliminary investigation into the incident.