Washington plans to introduce a resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to authorize sending soldiers to Haiti. The Caribbean country has fallen into chaos after President Jovenal Moise was assassinated over two years ago. The White House has been seeking a country to lead the multinational forces for months, and appears to have enlisted Kenya to serve that role.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the US and Ecuador planned to introduce the resolution at the UNSC to authorize the deployment in the coming days. Miller indicated more steps need to be taken before Kenyan troops arrive in Haiti.
“The second step is that the government of Kenya needs to conduct an assessment mission, which they plan to do in the coming days and weeks,” he explained. “We are committed to finding the resources to support this multinational force.”
Washington has spent several months seeking a country to send their soldiers to Haiti. In October, American officials pressured Canada to take on the role, but Ottoawa rejected Washington’s demands.
Kenya leading the mission could pose an issue as its soldiers are known to commit human rights abuses. “Human rights groups alleged security forces committed abuses, including extrajudicial killings, while conducting counterterrorism operations.” the State Department 2022 Human Rights report on Kenya found. “Human rights organizations complained security forces made widespread arbitrary arrests and detentions during counterterrorism operations.”
Haiti’s descent into chaos accelerated in July 2021 after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. In the weeks following his death, then-acting PM Claude Joseph briefly took over as president but was soon forced from power under international pressure after a bloc of countries led by the United States declared their support for Ariel Henry. Henry has called for outside nations to help restore order in Haiti.
UN soldiers – dubbed “Peacekeepers” – have a dark track record of severe human rights abuses and impunity for the perpetrators of the crimes. Vast numbers of peacekeepers have fathered children with underage women in foreign countries; they then abandon the girls and their children. Additionally, peacekeepers have been found to commit more serious crimes, such as murder and torture.