Martelly plan for new Haiti army

The Associated Press

Haiti’s president is moving forward with a controversial campaign pledge to restore the country’s disbanded military with an initial force of 3,500 soldiers, according to a document obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The role for the army replacing the former discredited military would be to patrol Haiti’s border, keep order during times of crisis and provide opportunities for young people, says the document outlining the plan.

President Michel Martelly’s government proposes spending $95 million to train and equip the new armed force with the goal of eventually replacing the 12,000 U.N. peacekeepers in the country.

“The fragility of the Haitian state now makes it vulnerable to the risks of internal unrest that could plunge the country into anarchy,” the document says.

Martelly spokesman Lucien Jura said Tuesday afternoon that he was unaware of the document, and referred questions to security consultant Reginald Delva, who told the AP he would comment later.

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