President Jovenel Moise on Saturday heralded the re-establishment of the Armed Forces after 22 years with a parade featuring dozens of camouflaged soldiers toting rifles in Cap-Haitien.
«A page of history is turned, a new chapter opens» said Moïse at the commemoration of the 214 years of the Battle of Vertières.
At the same time that the armed forces will be re-established, the Government undertakes to continue strengthening the National Police, the only public security force established on the national territory».
Defense minister Hérvé Denis said the army will begin with 500 soldiers in engineering, medical and aviation corps. A recruiting process was well underway by last July, attracting many young.
Denis said the government plans to ultimately expand to 5,000 troops working to protect Haitian borders, fight terrorism, curb illegal trade and aid Haitians affected by natural disasters.
Haiti has been without military forces since 1995, when former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded the army after returning to power following a coup, leaving the national police responsible for security.