Haiti moved closer on Monday to reconstituting its military that was abolished in 1995.
In a small ceremony in the farming village of Petite Rivere de L’Aritibonite, Defense Minister Jean-Rodolphe Joazile greeted the first 41 recruits who recently returned from eight months of training in Ecuador. They will be the first members of a national military force that the government of President Michel Martelly wants to revive, USAtoday reports.
Joazile said the recruits will spend three months working alongside Ecuadorean military engineers among the rice fields in central Haiti, to repair roads and work on other public service projects in their impoverished country, which was hit by a devastating earthquake three years ago, the report said.
The 41 recruits are made up of 30 soldiers, 10 engineers and one officer. They will report to the Defense Ministry but will not carry weapons.