MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 23:10 UTC

 

 

Kenyan peacekeeping forces land in Haiti

Tuesday, June 25th 2024 - 20:18 UTC
Full article 1 comment
Kenya intends to send a total of 1,000 troops of which the first 400 have arrived at their destination Kenya intends to send a total of 1,000 troops of which the first 400 have arrived at their destination

The first batch of Kenyan law enforcement officers making up a UN peacekeeping mission landed Tuesday at Port-au-Prince's Toussaint Louverture Airport. The African country intends to send a total of 1,000 troops to the Caribbean nation gripped by rogue gangs, resulting in over 580,000 people nationwide left homeless from pillaging.

“BINUH welcomes the arrival today of a first contingent from Kenya to support the Haitian National Police – it is a crucial step in the fight to restore security in the Haitian capital and its surroundings and protect the rights of Haitians,” the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) posted on X.

US State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller celebrated Kenya's initiative: “We hope to see further measurable improvements,” he stressed. The official also pointed out that he hoped “access to humanitarian aid and core economic activity” would gradually get back to normal.

“On behalf of the Haitian government and my own behalf, I salute the determination of the Kenyan government and its people to support Haiti in the fight against the insecurity that is corroding the society,” Acting Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille noted upon the group's arrival.

“The Haitian government and people hope that this multinational mission will be the last one to help stabilize the renewal of political personnel and the return to effective democracy. Long live solidarity among peoples! Long live Haiti!,” he added.

Kenyan President William Ruto said Monday on social media that the presence of troops ”in Haiti will bring relief to women, men, and children whose lives have been shattered by armed gang violence (...) We will work with the international community to achieve lasting stability in Haiti.“

“This mission is one of the most urgent, important, and historic in the history of global solidarity. It is a mission to affirm the universal values of the community of nations, a mission to take a stand for humanity,” Ruto also stressed while seeing off the team.

In July 2023, Kenya offered to head an international force to combat violence in Haiti, where gangs reign over most of the capital. Killings, kidnappings, and sexual violence are rampant. But only in October did the UN Security Council authorize the mission, thus triggering other domestic hindrances in Kenya that were eventually overcome. Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, Chad, and Bangladesh have also offered support, while the United States, France, and Canada have provided funding.

A previous international deployment in Haiti 20 years ago known as MINUSTAH did very little to pacify the country, and instead deepened poverty in addition to a sex abuse scandal coupled with cholera reaching the local population. All in all, Kenya's would be the fourth sizeable foreign military intervention.

Gangs virtually seized control of Haiti earlier this year, banning Prime Minister Ariel Henry from returning to the country from abroad. The rebels controlled over two dozen police stations, fired on the main airport, and released over 4,000 inmates from the country’s two largest prisons. Henry resigned in late April and a transitional presidential council was formed, choosing Conille as prime minister.

”You did not distribute weapons in working-class neighborhoods,“ gang leader Jimmy Cherizier -aka ”Barbecue“- told Conille in a recent video that went viral. ”Do not play into the hands of traditional politicians and businessmen, who used violence for political and economic ends, and who now want to recover, by force, the weapons they had distributed. The problem that exists today can only be resolved through dialogue,” he added.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • notlurking

    To make any kind of difference you need at least 5000 officers...

    Jun 26th, 2024 - 12:06 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!