Kenya is unwavering in its determination to lead a United Nations-approved security mission to Haiti, despite a recent ruling by a court in Nairobi that temporarily blocked the deployment.
President William Ruto, in a statement to Reuters on Tuesday, expressed the country’s commitment to addressing the pressing issue of rampant gang violence in Haiti through this international force, initially funded by the United States.
The mission’s viability was thrown into question when a Kenyan court declared that deploying officers abroad would be unconstitutional without a “reciprocal arrangement” with the host government.
President Ruto, however, reassured that Haiti had sought assistance months ago, and he anticipated that a formal request, meeting the court’s demands, would be received shortly.
“In fact, Haiti has written formally, not today, several months ago,” President Ruto affirmed during an Italian-Africa summit in Rome. He conveyed that, pending completion of the necessary paperwork between Kenya and Haiti, the mission could potentially commence as early as the following week.
Kenya’s decision to step forward in this international peacekeeping role is rooted in a long-standing history of participating in such operations.
Last July, Kenya committed 1,000 police officers to the mission, emphasizing solidarity with Haiti as a fellow nation facing adversity.
The country’s proactive approach garnered support from other Caribbean nations, including the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, and Jamaica, who expressed their willingness to contribute. The United States further bolstered the effort by pledging $200 million to facilitate the deployment.
President Ruto clarified that the mission’s objective is primarily to address the dire issue of gang violence, stressing that it is more of a police operation than a military intervention. He underscored the mission’s broader calling to humanity, emphasizing its humanitarian nature as it seeks to curb the rising violence in Haiti.
The situation in Haiti has been dire, with the United Nations reporting a substantial increase in gang violence. The organization documented 4,789 deaths in 2023, representing a significant 119% surge from the previous year.
Additionally, the report highlighted an alarming spike in kidnappings, affecting another 3,000 people.
As the mission progresses, Kenya’s steadfast commitment serves as a beacon of hope, showcasing international collaboration to address the urgent security challenges faced by Haiti.
In the broader context, it exemplifies the collective responsibility of nations to respond to crises and underscores the importance of humanitarian interventions on the global stage.