Kenya to lead multinational police force in Haiti

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Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya extended an offer to lead a multinational police force in Haiti, with the goal of enhancing security and addressing the issue of gang violence. Aside from Kenya, which is set to lead the operation, countries like Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda have also committed to sending personnel.

The United States committed $100 million last week to support the initiative, announcing that they would offer logistical support, including intelligence, airlift capabilities, communications, and medical assistance for the mission. This mission is however still pending approval by the U.N. Security Council.

In July, Kenyan Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua announced via the social media platform X that Kenya was prepared to deploy 1,000 police officers to provide training and support to Haiti’s police force. The objective of this effort was to restore stability in the country and safeguard critical infrastructure. In late August, a Kenyan assessment mission arrived in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, with the aim of assessing the security situation in the Caribbean nation. The delegation conducted meetings with high-ranking officials from the de-facto government led by Ariel Henry, engaged with the local police force, and held discussions with diplomatic representatives from other countries. Their visit sparked criticism from progressive organizations and human rights groups, which strongly opposed foreign intervention in Haiti.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry stated last week, during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, that police and military personnel are required, and the use of force is necessary to create an environment where the state can function again. He highlighted the grave crimes committed by gangs, including kidnapping, pillaging, arson, sexual violence, organ trafficking, and more. Henry underscored the need for the U.N. Security Council to authorize the mission to Haiti as quickly as possible, with the goal of making the force operational in the coming months. Haiti’s Prime Minister pledged to hold elections as soon as possible and to seek electoral consensus with international support while engaging with political actors and civil society leaders.

However, international assistance alone cannot address Haiti’s problems, which include corruption, lawlessness, gang violence, and political chaos. The international community is asking for progress in resolving the political crisis and a return to normalcy in the country.

Gang violence has been on the rise in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, with a significant number of casualties reported, leading to a dire situation in Haiti. Gangs have exerted control over key roads, hindering food distribution and contributing to widespread hunger in the country.

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