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Kenya suspends Police mission to Haiti

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Nairobi, 14 March 2024 (TDI): Kenya has decided to stop the police mission to Haiti on Wednesday, March 12. The mission included the deployment of 1000 Kenyan police officers in Haiti.

The Caribbean nation has been engulfed in escalating violence, raising concerns about the safety of Kenyan personnel.

Kenya had agreed last October to lead a UN-authorized international police mission to Haiti. Still, the country’s top court in January ruled this was unconstitutional, in part because of a lack of reciprocal agreements on such deployments between the two countries.

The people of Kenya have expressed great relief after the decision to halt the mission. Nairobi resident Lameck Ochieng said he was not surprised by the court ruling. “Our children who were going to be killed outside (in Haiti) now are safe,” he said.

Also Read: Kenya and EU unite in Economic Agreement 

“Haiti has no government, it has no structure so it’s not advisable, you know. Let’s say like, if our government cares for our people, they wouldn’t even consider doing that (deploying Kenyan Police to Haiti)” said Rose Wanjiku, a student.

The recent surge in violence in Haiti further solidified public opposition to the deployment. News outlets across Kenya were filled with images of unrest, and many Kenyans voiced anxieties about their officers being sent into a volatile situation.

Under the plan, the UN-backed multi-national police led by officers from Kenya was to help quell gang violence that has long plagued Haiti. But violence escalated sharply since February 29, with gunmen burning police stations, closing the main international airports and raiding the country’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates.

The suspension of the deployment has sparked discussions about Kenya’s role in international peacekeeping missions. While many Kenyans support contributing to global security efforts, concerns persist about the clarity of objectives, proper training, and ensuring the safety of deployed personnel.

 

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