Dominican Republic closes Haitian border as water dispute escalates

The Dominican Republic has shut all land, air, and sea borders with Haiti in a dispute about construction of a canal on Haitian soil that taps into a shared river.

Dominican President Luis Abinader said in a televised speech Sunday that the border closures, which began Friday, will remain in place until construction is halted on the canal, which seeks to use water from the Massacre River to alleviate a drought in Haiti’s Maribaroux plain.

“We do not desire or seek confrontation, but we are confronting the uncontrollable people who keep Haiti insecure, and who, due to their private interests, now also conspire against the stability of their government and the security of our water resources,” Mr. Abinader said during his brief speech, referring to gang violence that has engulfed Haiti.

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