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10/17/2013

Haitian army about to reborn

In 1804 the Haitian army did celebrate proudly its creation with the independance of the country, first colony ever to liberate itself from its coloniser. (France on the occasion)

Acting as a regular army for more than 190 years with some up and down such as the american invasion in 1915, the FADH (armed forces of Haiti) were dismantled in 1995 under president Aristidewho feared another “Coup d’etat” coming from the soldiers.

Actually the haitian army was involved in most of the “coups” between the fall of dictator Jean Claude “BB Doc” Duvalier in 1986 and 1995. (13 differents governements in just 9 years!)

During its campaign in 2010, current president Martelly promised re-establishment of a national force, pleasing so the numerous haitians unhappy with the presence since 2004 of the United Nations peacekeeping force called MINUSTAH.

If creation of a new force hasn’t been mention much during the first 2 years of president Martelly’s mandate, it has been a huge surprise for everybody to learn about the return in the country of 41 young haitians trained discretely by the army of Ecuador during 10 months.

Back in Haiti beginning of September 2013, these young soldiers have all been assigned in Artibonite for a practise.

Trained as technician and ingeniors these men are the first member of the new haitian army. An army that would secure borders and coastal lines in the future, an army that would help the national police in its fights against drug and other traffics, an army that would help its fellow citizens in case of natural disaster.

For now the 41 newly trained soldiers don’t carry any weapon and won’t before 2015 earliest.

The fact they don’t carry weapons is welcomed by the population but still there are many questions with no answers yet!
How many people will compose the force eventually? When are they gonna carry weapons? How the force will share tasks with the PNH (Haitian National Police)?
What will happen with the previous members of the haitian army?
Despite being 18 years older (!) most of them want to join the new force, which the governement strongly refuse!

As a result the former members of the army are now joining the political opposition asking for dismissal of president Martelly by the end of the year!
Lots of questions and potential issues to be raised soon for sure!



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October 17, 2013 in Haiti |