Reports indicate that on September 16 the Dominican Armed Forces launched an operation called “Cerco Fronterizo” (Border Fence) along its border with Haiti. The move was only acknowledged by official sources on September 27. The Ministry of Defense published a statement indicating that the operation is intended to enforce the rule of law and protect national interests and vital resources in the border area.
The 390 km Dominican-Haitian border presents a security challenge for both states. While the Haitian government is mainly concerned about illegal trade across the border, the Dominican Republic is concerned about illegal immigration of Haitians. August witnessed cross-border shootings between Dominican soldiers and Haitian nationals, triggering a political reaction. While Santo Domingo’s decision to deploy troops along the border is not unprecedented, “Cerco Fronterizo” likely comes as a result of last month’s shootings. Given that no significant security incidents have transpired since then, the presence of Dominican regulars may have brought some temporal stability in the border area. Nevertheless, the operation is unlikely to bring about long-term stability.