Martelly Restores The Haitian Army With 41 New Young Officers Trained In Ecuador

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Making good on a campaign promise is probably a good position for a politician to take, however, to do so without consulting with various relevant bodies that would need to know of something as big as the training and possibly deployment of a quasi-military force, is, as the Americans would say, a horse of a different color.

President Michel Martelly recently announced the return of 41 engineers, officers and technicians who had left the country to pursue a ten month training program at a facility in Ecuador, unbeknownst to the public, as well as to parliament. Also out of the loop, was the Artibonite Senator, who reacted with sarcasm when asked about the report that the returnees will be completing an internship until the end of the year at the Petite Riviere de l'Artibonite.

At the end of this internship, the Ecuadorians, who will continue the training of the new team, will leave Haiti and the 41 member force will begin their work protecting the Haitian border with the Dominican Republic. Among their duties is also listed the mandate of raising environmental awareness, combating the smuggling of drugs across the border and providing emergency relief.

While on paper the team seems like an innocuous addition to national security, the view of the National Network for the Defence of Human Rights' Executive Director that the return of these unknown individuals who were selected and trained secretively is worrisome given the history of the country's torrid past with its military bodies, mirrors the concern of many other Haitians.

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