PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – A plan by Haitian President Michel Martelly to revive the country’s disbanded military is running into opposition.
Sen. Moise Jean-Charles of Haiti’s dominant political party told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Haiti does not need to create a new army.
He noted Haiti cannot afford to do that on its own, so the financing would have to come from international partners.
“Why would the international community fund an army?” he said. “We don’t have anyone we’re going to war with.”
Jean-Charles is a member of the Unity party, which has a majority in the 30-member Senate and controls 36 seats in the 99-member Chamber of Deputies. The $95 million plan would need approval from Parliament.
Jean-Charles said Haiti should instead focus on improving its police department.
“We need to strengthen the national police and build departments inside it to secure the country,” he said.
He commented a day after The Associated Press obtained a draft of the Haitian government’s proposal for rebuilding a military dismantled in 1995 after a long history of abuse and coups.
Political observers said Wednesday that the government’s resources could be better spent on job programs for youths.