A Kenyan court has temporarily barred the government from deploying hundreds of police personnel in Haiti in a mission approved by the UN and aimed at helping the Caribbean nation tackle rampant gang violence.
The order issued by the court on Monday is valid until October 24 and it comes following a petition jointly filed by one of the opposition political parties and two Kenyans who say the decision to deploy the police officers outside the east African country is illegal.
According to the court document seen by news outlets, the order bars Kenyan government officials including the president and his interior minister “from deploying police officers to Haiti or any other country until 24th October 2023”.
In July of this year, Kenya pledged to send 1,000 police officers to Haiti after the nation appealed for international help with security personnel to assist in its battle against gangs blamed for spiraling violence.
Currently, the United Nations estimates some 200,000 Haitians have been displaced during escalating violence, with armed gangs carrying out indiscriminate killings, kidnappings, gang rapes and torching people’s homes.
The petitioners note that the deployment of the police officers is “not only nonsensical and irrational but unconstitutional”.
Further, the directive to deploy did not involve public participation and is also unconstitutional because only the Kenya military can be deployed outside the country, according to the petition.