Kenya’s High Court put a temporary suspension on a planned troop deployment to Haiti. The Joe Biden administration made a deal with Nairobi to deploy its soldiers to Haiti on a mission approved by the UN Security Council. The US agreed to finance the mission and train the Kenyan soldiers.
On Friday, former presidential candidate, Ekuru Aukot, filed a petition with the high court arguing that sending troops to Haiti violated the Kenyan constitution. The high court granted a temporary block on sending the soldiers. President William Ruto’s administration will have three days to appeal.
The Biden White House has sought a country to lead a mission in Haiti for over a year. After Canada rebuffed the US request, Washington was able to enlist Nairobi into sending 1,000 soldiers to Haiti. The White House inked a new defense agreement with Kenya and agreed to provide $100 million to finance the deployment.
Additionally, US forces will train the Kenyan soldiers. The UN Security Council approved the deployment, but the soldiers will not operate as official UN Peacekeepers. Peacekeepers have a dark legacy in Haiti. During the UN mission to the country from 2004-17 caused a cholera outbreak that killed nearly 10,000 people and engaged in rampant rape of women.
The deal between Washington, Nairobi, and Port-au-Prince has met protests in all three countries. Last week, Kenya’s opposition leader, Raila Odinga, also criticized the plan. In Haiti, protests have gathered against Prime Minister Ariel Henry for supporting the deployment of foreign soldiers to Haiti. With Washington’s backing, Henry rose to power in Port-au-Prince after President Jovenal Moise was assassinated.