Dominican Republic vows to collect biometrics at border as Haitians cry foul
The plan by Dominican Republic to implement a biometric data collection system at the country’s western border with Haiti will not be halted, President Luis Abinader has vowed.
The Dominican leader made the reiteration this week during a press conference after Haitians, including those in the Elías Piña area, slammed the move as illegal.
Dominican Today reports that despite the outcry from the neighbours, Abinader insists that the move is vital for the security and protection of the country.
The Caribbean nation has been building a wall with biometric features at the border with Haiti as part of a plan to control illegal immigration and the flow of illicit goods across the borders. The border wall has a biometrics capturing system provided by Dermalog to monitor border movements.
In his recent outing, Abinader says that some of the country’s objectives set when temporarily shutting the border have been achieved, and that the biometric border control plan will proceed.
The building of a canal in the Masacre River on the Haitian side of the border has also been a been a point of discord between the two countries as the Dominican Republic argues that the move contravenes the 1929 Treaty of Peace, Perpetual Friendship and Arbitration, Efe reports.
The tight border control measures notwithstanding, the Dominican leader has assured that the door will remain open for legitimate trade if Haiti so wishes.
Haitians protest biometric registration at the border
For their part, Haitians have expressed strong disapproval with the move to capture the biometrics of all those who wish to cross the Dominican border to return to their country.
Dominican Today notes in another report that Haitian citizens have been complaining that the biometric registration could make it difficult for those wishing to re-enter Dominican Republic to do so.
The disgruntled Haitians are reported to have shouted in protest at Dominican military officers carrying out the registration, eventually forcing them to allow Haitians to get into Dominican territory without completing the biometric registration.