• Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua said on Tuesday the officers have already started learning French.
• In a press statement at his office, Mutua said the government has started planning logistics, required equipment and psychological preparedness for the personnel.
Former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has questioned the rationale behind Kenya sending troops to Haiti while the country is grappling with renewed insurgency from the al Shabaab.
Whereas Wamalwa welcomed the Kenya-US cooperation on defence, he said it beats logic that Kenya has offered to help Haiti deal with growing insecurity by criminal gangs while the Somali-based militants still pose a risk to the country.
"Strengthening of Kenya-US Defence cooperation framework and partnership in the war against terror, during Lloyd Austin visit, is welcome, but Kenyans are asking whether it’s in our National interest to deploy our officers to Haiti while facing resurgent al Shabaab insecurity and economic crisis," Wamalwa said in a statement Tuesday evening.
Kenya has offered to deploy 1,000 police officers to Haiti as part of Multinational Security Support with the deployment expected in October should the United Nations Security Council approve the deployment.
But even as the country awaits the deployment, Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua said on Tuesday the officers have already started learning French.
In a press statement at his office, Mutua said the government has started planning logistics, required equipment and psychological preparedness for the personnel.
"We expect the UN mandate within the next few weeks. After that, we will deploy to Haiti. We have also started teaching some of our officers French as well," the CS said.
Kenya will receive $100 million (Sh14.7 billion) from the United States of America in support of the mission, Mutua said, assuring that no taxpayer funds will be used on the mission.
He spoke a day after his Defence counterpart Aden Duale signed the Kenya-US Defence Cooperation Framework with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin.
The framework defines the collaborative role of the two countries in combating their shared security challenges.
On Tuesday, Duale accompanied Lloyd to the Kenya Navy Base in Manda which equally hosts the US Forces.
"We were pleased with the synergy exhibited by our two Forces in executing their mandates. Further, we underscored the importance of this mutual relation in fostering regional and international peace and security," he said.
Back to Haiti, the former French colony has been experiencing an upsurge in crime rates perpetrated by organised criminal gangs that have caused havoc in the country for decades.
Former US special envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote said in a previous interview that the gangs were started by former leader Jean-Bertrande Aristide in the 1980s to offer protection rackets "as a way to get some power" for ordinary Haitians.
But the gangs called Chimères, have since morphed after former soldiers from the Haitian military which was disbanded under Aristide’s second period in office between 1994 to 1996, joined in.
UN peacekeepers failed to contain the gangs from growing with the 2010 earthquake further worsening the situation after imprisoned gang members escaped and either joined old neighbourhood gangs or formed new groups.
The latest attack was reported on Tuesday in Mirebalais, a commune in the Centre department of Haiti, approximately 60 km northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince.
Reports indicate that armed individuals attacked the Hopital Universitaire de Mirebalais, one of the main hospitals in the country.
Gangs also attacked a police station in the nearby town of Saut-d'Eau, killing at least ten people on Friday, September 22.
A draft document by the US indicates that Kenya's role in Haiti will be three-pronged; provision of operational support against gangs, guarding installations and training Haitian police.