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HomeNewsKenya-Haiti Diplomatic Push: Prime Minister's Visit Targets Troop Deployment Delay

Kenya-Haiti Diplomatic Push: Prime Minister’s Visit Targets Troop Deployment Delay

Kenya-Haiti Diplomatic Push: Prime Minister’s Visit Targets Troop Deployment Delay

Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, is scheduled to visit Kenya shortly to address the challenges hindering the dispatch of Kenyan police officers to the unrest-ridden nation.

Mr. Henry’s Office disclosed on February 25 that following the Prime Minister’s participation in the 46th Ordinary Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of State and Government in Guyana, he is scheduled to visit Nairobi. The meeting is set to conclude today, February 28, 2024.

“Next, the Prime Minister will travel to Nairobi, Kenya, to finalize modalities for the deployment of the MSS with Kenyan authorities and those of other countries in the African continent,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Mr. Henry is anticipated to engage in discussions and finalize agreements with key security officials in Kenya before the dispatch of the officers to Haiti.

Several months later, a Haitian delegation came to Kenya for talks on the same issue.

The contingent of 1,000 troops scheduled for deployment to Haiti comprises units from the Rapid Deployment Unit, Anti Stock Theft Unit, General Service Unit, and Border Patrol Unit.

About two weeks ago, Haiti revealed its efforts to establish an official agreement with Kenyan authorities to ensure the much-anticipated deployment.

Earlier this week, the UN Ambassador from the United States, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, disclosed that Benin is set to deploy 2,000 troops to support the UN-endorsed multinational security force aimed at addressing gang violence in the Caribbean nation. Kenya will take the lead in coordinating this effort.

She emphasized the urgency of deploying forces promptly due to the escalating violence in Haiti. In the capital, over 300 gangs exert control, contributing to 83 percent of the recorded killings and injuries last year. The gangs were responsible for the deaths of at least 8,400 people in the previous year.

“This mission is key to helping the Haitian National Police restore peace and security, enabling free and fair elections, and alleviating the humanitarian crisis,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield said.

The deployment of the Kenyan team to Haiti scheduled for this month faced a setback as a court blocked the move, contending that the government did not possess the authority to dispatch police officers beyond the borders of Kenya, leading to a delay.

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It also mentioned the requirement for reciprocity by Kenyan laws, allowing the deployment of Kenyan police officers overseas. Consequently, Haiti forwarded a memorandum of understanding to Kenya, emphasizing the necessity of deploying police officers in their country.

Following the court’s decision, President William Ruto stated that Kenya would ensure the completion of all procedures outlined by the court to continue dispatching police officers to Haiti.

The United States initially committed to providing around $200 million (approximately 29.4 billion Shillings) and pledged to enhance efforts to prevent the illegal trafficking of weapons to Haiti. According to the United Nations, a significant portion of the smuggled firearms entering the Caribbean nation originates from the United States.

In just the past month, Haiti witnessed the loss, injury, or abduction of a minimum of 800 individuals. The United Nations emphasizes the critical need for immediate action to address and curb the escalating crime rates in the country.

At the recent G20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro, additional nations such as France, Benin, and Canada affirmed their dedication to the mission by making financial, personnel, and various other commitments. For instance, Canada committed approximately 60 million US dollars (equivalent to around 8.82 billion Shillings).

Kenyan authorities, headed by ex-Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, convened with their Haitian counterparts in the United States in the latter part of the previous year. During this meeting, they established a timeline for the deployment of Kenyan forces and crafted a memorandum of understanding.

Kenya-Haiti Diplomatic Push: Prime Minister’s Visit Targets Troop Deployment Delay

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