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#1040: Dominicans march to call on richer countries to help Haiti (fwd)


Dominicans march to call on richer countries to help Haiti
 November 20, 1999  Web posted at: 8:17 PM EST (0117 GMT) 

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Dominicans marched in Santo
Domingo Saturday to call on richer countries to help Haiti's economic 
and social problems, complaining that Haitians' mass migration to the  
Dominican Republic is an unfair burden.  More than a thousand people
marched through the streets of the capital,some holding up signs that
read "Haiti is the responsibility of the international community" and
"USA: 40 percent are overweight; Haiti: 40 percent are malnourished."   
In a report three weeks ago, the Washington, D.C.-based Inter-American 
Human Rights Commission accused the Dominican Republic of unfairly
deporting Haitian residents and urged the country to extend citizenship
to Haitian children born there. Haitian President Rene Preval accused
the Dominican Republic deporting 2,000 illegal Haitian residents in a
10-day period earlier this month. An estimated 1 million to 1.5 million
Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of
Hispaniola with Haiti. "We're a poor nation and we can't be solely
responsible for helping Haiti through its crisis," said a declaration by
the group that organized Saturday's march, the Haiti is the
Responsibility of the International Campaign  Organizational Committee,
created by 50 political and community leaders. Haiti is the poorest
country in the Western Hemisphere and has been trying to reestablish
democracy after years of coups, military rule and other      political
unrest.  Dominican officials have confirmed they have sent
reinforcements to the  Dominican-Haitian border to curb illegal
immigration but denied they had  begun a general sweep. They have
criticized Haitian officials for not doing  enough to stop mass
migration to the Dominican Republic.