July 19, 2024
Kenya Police Forces Ready For Haiti Mission As Gov't Sets June 25th Departure Day

Kenya Police Forces Ready For Haiti Mission As Gov’t Sets June 25th Departure Day

Despite court challenges, a Kenyan force will leave for Haiti on June 25 to lead a UN-backed mission to combat gang violence, government and police sources said on Sunday.

Kenya offered to send approximately 1,000 police officers to Haiti, along with personnel from several other countries, but the deployment has encountered legal challenges in the East African country.

President William Ruto has been a strong supporter of the mission, stating this month that deployment would begin within weeks.

“The departure is this week on Tuesday,” an interior ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

“Preparations are set for the team to depart for Haiti on Tuesday. We already have two advance teams that left — one last week and another one yesterday,” a senior police official said.

A UN Security Council resolution approved the mission in October, but its deployment was delayed in January by a Kenyan court.

It claimed that the Kenyan government lacked the authority to send police officers abroad without a prior agreement.

The government reached an agreement on March 1, but a small opposition party in Kenya has filed a new lawsuit to block it.

In addition to Kenya, Benin, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, and Chad have expressed an interest in joining the mission.

The United States is providing funding and logistical support, but no boots on the ground in Haiti, the Americas’ poorest country.

Human Rights Watch has expressed concerns about the mission and questioned its funding.

Rights groups have accused Kenyan police of using excessive force and committing unlawful killings.

On Friday, a police watchdog said it was investigating allegations that a 29-year-old man was shot by officers in Nairobi, following youth-led demonstrations against proposed tax hikes.

Haiti has long been plagued by gang violence, but conditions deteriorated dramatically at the end of February.

Different armed groups launched coordinated attacks in the capital, Port-au-Prince, claiming to want to overthrow then-Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Henry announced in early March that he would step down and delegate executive authority to a transitional council, which appointed Garry Conille as the country’s interim prime minister on May 29.

The violence in Port-au-Prince has hampered food security and humanitarian aid access, with gangs in control of much of the city, accused of crimes such as murder, rape, looting, and kidnapping.

Kenya Police Forces Ready For Haiti Mission As Gov’t Sets June 25th Departure Day

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