Dajabon -- Haiti-Dominican Republic's border
I think it's an exaggeration," says one resident of Dajabon, a town on the Dominican Republic's border with Haiti, as he comments on a plan to build a wall on the border to reduce illegal immigration. Dominican President Luis Abinador recently announced AFPTV / Erika SANTELICES

The borders of the Dominican Republic with Haiti were partially reopened Wednesday for commercial activities.

The reopening of the border comes almost a month after the country shut its borders over Haiti's plan to build a canal on the Massacre River, which is shared between both countries, as the move violates several border treaties.

Land, air, and sea borders were closed on Sept. 15, but now, the vendors located in the Dominican border cities can sell goods like food and medicine to Haiti, as per AP News. However, selling electronic items and construction materials, including cement and metal rods, was still restricted.

Furthermore, the president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, has still not lifted the visa ban on Haitian citizens that was implemented last month, keeping the borders closed for them, even if they want to enter for work, health, education, or tourism.

The northern Dominican border city of Dajabon opened its gates late Wednesday morning, while the barriers on the Haitian side were still shut. Several trucks and containers filled with goods were already lined up near the border.

The reopening of the Dominican border was delayed after a pre-dawn fire took place at the main marketplace, destroying dozens of stalls. Authorities shared they were investigating the reason behind the blaze.

The marketplace was not crowded, as very few vendors had opened their stalls at the time. One of the vendors named Santo Rodríguez -- who sells butter, ketchup, pasta, and mayonnaise alongside other food items -- said that "there's been a heavy loss here."

"How are you expected to survive?" he questioned as he condemned the closing of the border.

Rodríguez, who has been running the business since 1995, disclosed that he earned $176. He said the Dominican Republic president had promised to help business owners following border closure, but he hasn't received any aid yet.

After the Dominican Republic closed all borders last month, the Haitian government doubled down on the decision to construct the canal on the Massacre River.

"Yes, the canal must be built. Yes, efforts must be made so that the water reaches the canals as it should. Yes, it is through solidarity and unity that the land of (the Maribahoux plain) can be irrigated," the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture said on Sept. 21.

A top U.N. official named William O'Neill had previously urged Dominican Republic authorities to re-open the borders and use diplomacy to resolve the canal dispute, adding that, otherwise, there will be serious impacts on people on both sides of the border.

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