PETITE RIVIERE DE L'ARTIBONITE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti has moved closer to reconstituting the army the country abolished in 1995.
Defense Minister Jean-Rodolphe Joazile said the first 41 recruits in a new national military force have returned from eight months of training in Ecuador. Joazile said they will spend three months working alongside Ecuadorean troops in Haiti to repair roads and work on other public service projects in their impoverished country. They will not carry weapons for now.
Haitian President Michel Martelly had pledged to restore the National Armed Forces of Haiti but did not attend a ceremony Monday in central Haiti to welcome back the cadets.
The Haitian government abolished the military under President Jean-Bertrand Aristide after years of military coups and human rights abuses. It will require a vote by Parliament to officially reconstitute the army.
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