The US is preparing a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution to authorize Kenya to send its soldiers to Haiti. Washington believes Nairobi can aid Port-au-Prince in restoring order to gang-controlled territory. The Joe Biden administration said the American taxpayers will foot the bill for the deployment, and US soldiers will train the Kenyan force.
For a year, the White House has sought a third country to send its soldiers into Haiti as UN Peacekeepers. After Canada resisted American pressure to lead the force, Nairobi agreed to send its troops to the Caribbean nation.
The AP notes that some Haitians are opposed to the deployment of UN soldiers from Kenya. In 2010, UN forces released sewage, causing a cholera outbreak that killed nearly 10,000 Haitians. Additionally, Kenyan soldiers have been credibly accused of war crimes in Somalia, where Nairobi conducted military operations in the name of counterterrorism.
Kenya-based Independent Medico-Legal Unit issued a report this month warning that Kenyan police are committing an increasing number of human rights abuses since President William Ruto took office. The US has provided a significant amount of training to the Kenyan soldiers. However, there is no indication it has curbed abuses by Nairobi’s security forces at home or in Somalia.
Speaking at the General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Biden called on the UNSC to pass a resolution allowing Kenya to send troops to Haiti. “On Haiti, the Caribbean communities facilitated a dialogue among Haitian society. I thank President Ruto of Kenya – I thank him for his willingness to serve as a lead nation of a UN-backed security support mission,” he said. “I call on the Security Council to authorize this mission now. The people of Haiti cannot wait much longer.”
On Wednesday, Ruto met with Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry in an official ceremony to commemorate Washington’s plot to send Kenyan forces to Port-au-Prince. Washington says it will fund the missions and provide the peacekeepers training.
The security situation in Haiti has devolved since Henry took office in Port-au-Prince. Henry took power over the Caribbean nation after former leader Jovernal Moise was assassinated in July of 2021. The US-backed Henry’s ascension to power, and he has since been named as a plotter in Moise’s assassination.
The Haitian Prime Minister has backed foreign intervention in his nation despite UN Peacekeepers’ track record of human rights abuses. UN soldiers are infamous for having sex with underage girls and leaving women without financial support.