Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign & Diaspora Affairs Alfred Mutua says President William Ruto’s administration was willing to lead a multinational force into Haiti where the UN has for months been seeking a volunteer to coordinate an assistance mission.
The Caribbean country, home to 12 million people has been experiencing a surge in violence between police and gangs who control the majority of the capital, Port-au-Prince. There have been reported cases of rebel police officers rioting in Port-au-Prince. Last Thursday the police protested at the killing of more than a dozen colleagues by criminal gangs. The rioting officers blame the government for not taking action. A group of more than 100 demonstrators blocked streets, burned tyres, broke security cameras and damaged vehicles.
The local media said several officers broke through the gates of the prime minister’s residence and attempted to enter Haiti’s international airport. The National Union of Haitian Police Officers says 14 men have been killed since the start of the year in various gang attacks on police stations. Sources say Haiti is more dangerous than it seems with 63 different identified gangs recorded in the country between 2018-2022. Seven officers were killed in a shootout last Wednesday alone, according to Haiti’s National Police.
“At the request of the Friends of Haiti Group of Nations, Kenya has accepted to positively consider leading a Multi-National Force to Haiti,” Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua said in a statement. “Kenya’s commitment is to deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to help train and assist Haitian police, restore normalcy in the country and protect strategic installations,” he said.
Mutua said the planned deployment was still contingent on getting a UN Security Council mandate for the mission, and Kenyan authorizations. “An Assessment Mission by a Task Team of the Kenya Police is scheduled within the next few days,” he said.