Kenya and Haiti Sign Agreement to Deploy Force to Caribbean Nation

by | Mar 1, 2024

Kenya and Haiti Sign Agreement to Deploy Force to Caribbean Nation

by | Mar 1, 2024

FILE PHOTO: United Nations peacekeepers conduct a patrol in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 2004. (Credit: UN / Sophia Paris)

The leaders of Kenya and Haiti inked a pact for a Kenya-led UN mission to the Caribbean nation. Nairobi plans to send 1,000 armed men, dubbed police officers, to Port-au-Prince as local authorities have all but lost control of Haiti’s capital city. The Joe Biden administration has been working for several years to create a UN force to invade Haiti to restore order. 

In October, at Washington’s urging, the UN Security Council approved a resolution that authorized Kenya to lead a UN police force in Haiti to return power to Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has faced months of violent unrest in the wake of the 2021 assassination of President Jovenal Moise.

The people of Haiti did not elect the government in Port-au-Prince. Not long after Moise’s murder, then-Prime Minister Claud Joseph resigned at the behest of Western pressure, allowing Henry to assume power in his stead. Since then, armed gangs have seized control over most of the city under Henry’s watch, at times occupying critical infrastructure, including its main port.

After the UNSC approved the force, opposition leader Ekuru Aukot in Nairobi challenged President William Ruto’s decision to send Kenyans to Haiti. In January, the Kenyan High Court ruled in favor of Aukot, blocking the deployment. 

The president later declared he could skirt the ruling by inking a pact directly with Port-au-Prince. That “reciprocal” agreement was signed on Friday. Ruto said he and Henry “discussed the next steps to enable the fast-tracking of the deployment,” though the leaders did not offer a timeline for the operation. 

The US-backed plan to send Kenyans to Haiti has met opposition in Port-au-Prince in addition to Nairobi. Haitians have protested Henry’s request for the UN deployment, as UN peacekeepers in Haiti have a legacy of rampant sexual abuses and, causing a cholera outbreak that killed thousands.

“The Haitian people have kept the bitter taste of a foreign force in charge of our situation: theft, rape, cholera, food dependence, deregulation of the economic system, without mentioning the fact that we don’t remember seeing then-gang leaders be arrested or rendered unable to do harm,” a Haitian think tank, Groupe de Travail sur la Securite (the Security Working Group), said of Henry’s initial request.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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