Kenyan President Says Force Can Be Deployed to Haiti as Early as Next Week

by | Jan 31, 2024

Kenyan President Says Force Can Be Deployed to Haiti as Early as Next Week

by | Jan 31, 2024

secretary blinken meets with kenyan president ruto (52374346537)

President William Ruto meets with Secretary Blinken

The deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti will move forward as soon as next week. Last week, the High Court in Nairobi issued a ruling that blocked the mission to Port au-Prince. The US is sponsoring the Kenyan-led multinational force to Haiti intended to break the hold gangs have over most of the capital city. The request for a multinational force to help restore order by Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been met with protests from Haitians. 

After Haitian migrants began arriving in the US, the White House began attempting to form an international coalition to restore order in Haiti. After the assassination of the Haitian president in 2021, much of Port-au-Prince fell into the hands of gangs. Prime Minister Henry, who was pushed into power by Washington following the assassination, requested the UN send troops to Haiti to transfer power from the gangs to government forces. 

The Biden administration sought a country to lead the mission for over a year. After Nairobi agreed to lead the mission, Washington signed a new defense agreement with Kenya and agreed to finance the mission to Port-au-Prince. Last year, the UN Security Council approved the deployment. 

However, the plan has been met with opposition in Kenya and Haiti. In Kenya, opposition leader Ekuru Aukot filed a lawsuit with the country’s High Court to block the deployment. Last week, the court ruled in favor of Aukot. However, President Willian Ruto indicated he would circumvent the ruling and move forward with the deployment to Haiti. 

Ruto explained to Reuters that Kenyan police could be deployed to Haiti as soon as next week. “So that mission can go ahead as soon as next week, if all the paperwork is done between Kenya and Haiti on the bilateral route that has been suggested by the court,” he said. The paperwork Ruto refers to is a bilateral agreement between Haiti and Kenya. The Miami Herald reported that Port-au-Prince and Nariobi are currently negotiating the pact. 

Aukot argues that the court ruled that Kenyan forces cannot be deployed outside of the country, even if a bilateral agreement is implemented. “Appreciate the wisdom of Justice Mwita on a ‘service’ and a ‘force.’ As per law and the constitution, you can not deploy a police service outside Kenya,” he posted on X.

Haitians have protested against Henry for requesting the UN deployment. UN peacekeepers in Haiti have a legacy of rampant sexual abuses and, causing a cholera outbreak that killed thousands.

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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