- Organised gangs have ravaged large swathes of Haiti with violent crimes such as rape, kidnappings, and robberies topping their mode of operation, particularly over the last two years.
- The groups became more emboldened after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7, 2021, by suspected foreign mercenaries at his residence in the capital Port-au-Prince.
The United Nations Security Council will on Monday, October 2, vote on a resolution that will see a non-UN multinational force led by Kenya deployed to Haiti to combat gangs and restore security.
If approved by the UN, Kenya will deploy its force to Haiti by January 2024.
The council will develop the framework for and authorise a one-year deployment of an international force, with a review after nine months.
The move to deploy the officers was announced by President William Ruto following repeated calls by Haiti's acting Prime Minister to have the UN send troops to help restore order in the country.
He first made the call in October 2022.
Caribbean nations and members of the CARICOM regional group, including Jamaica, the Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda have also expressed their readiness to support the mission that will be led by Kenya’s force.
The Bahamas has committed 150 persons to support the multi-national force
Organised gangs have ravaged large swathes of Haiti with violent crimes such as rape, kidnappings, and robberies topping their mode of operation, particularly over the last two years.
The groups became more emboldened after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7, 2021, by suspected foreign mercenaries at his residence in the capital Port-au-Prince.
From January 1, up until August 15, more than 2,400 people in Haiti were reported killed, more than 950 kidnapped and another 902 injured, according to the most recent UN statistics.
What exactly will Kenyan troops do in Haiti?
While a lot of questions on who will be deployed, the Star understands that only officers from formation units in the National Police Service of Kenya will be sent to Haiti.
A US-drafted resolution says the force would help build the capacity of local police planning, conducting joint security support operations and also secure critical infrastructure sites and transit locations such as the airport, ports, and key intersections in Haiti.
The force will also be allowed to provide operational support to Haiti's National Police, which is underfunded and under-resourced, with only some 10,000 active officers in a country of more than 11 million people.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Foreign Affairs CS Alfred Mutua said the Kenyan police will go in as an intervention force to disarm the thugs, free kidnapped people, and stop them from raping women.
He said Kenya’s other mandate will also include training the Haiti police force.
In August, a Kenyan security team on an assessment mission to Haiti visited the Caribbean nation. The delegation also visited the top brass of the Haitian National Police (PNH) for a working session on the security situation and weakness of the agency.
A series of events are planned if a decision is made to send police to combat the gang violence that has wrecked the Caribbean nation, by the UNSC.