Revealed: The uniform Kenyan police officers will use in Haiti

The team has been training together as part of efforts to ensure they synchronize when they land there

In Summary
  • The US will also provide choppers and vehicles the team will use on the ground.
  • They will also cater for food and other logistical issues for the troops.
The Haiti team when it visited IG Koome and DIG Gabow Noor
The Haiti team when it visited IG Koome and DIG Gabow Noor

A team of Kenyan police to be deployed to Haiti will use the General Service Unit uniform as their official combat attire.

Officials aware of the plans revealed they had arrived at the jungle green uniform to their official attire in the period they will be deployed to the Caribbean nation.

More than 1,000 officers will be picked from the Rapid Deployment Unit, Anti Stock Theft Unit, General Service Unit, and Border Patrol Unit to form a larger team for deployment.

These officers have paramilitary training and are likely to work well with other personnel from countries that have agreed to send theirs to Haiti for the same mission.

The team has been training together as part of efforts to ensure they synchronize when they land there.

They wear different colours of uniforms here. Kenya will take the command and operations of about 3,000 personnel.

The team will also use their AK47 rifles as the main combating weapons.

“These are the weapons they are used to. If the others will come we will see but for now, it is the AK47 rifles to be used,” said an official aware of the plans.

Department of Peace Operations, the multinational force in Haiti will be overseen by Kenya, although its forces are there with U.N. authorization, which gives the intervention the backing of international law.

Chile, Jamaica, Grenada, Paraguay, Burundi, Chad, Nigeria and Mauritius are among the countries that have confirmed the deployment of their officers to Haiti.

A high-powered delegation from Haiti that arrived in Nairobi on a fact-finding mission about the preparation of Kenyan police to be deployed to the Caribbean nation has given the process a thumbs up.

The team led by Director General of the Haitian National Police, Frantz Elbe and Director of Criminal Investigations in Haiti Mr Frédéric Leconte told officials they were satisfied and ready to receive the Kenyan team in their country.

The team landed in Nairobi on Tuesday, December 12 for a three-day tour to understand how the Kenyan police operate.

The team on December 13, 2023, met Kenya’s Inspector General of National Police Service Japhet Koome and other top police commanders.

They later visited DCI headquarters, Administration Police Training College, National Police Communications and Command Centre and other highly sensitive and secretive places to learn about the operations there, officials said.

And after the tour which ended Saturday, the team left saying Kenya is more than ready to help them.

“They said they are waiting for our arrival there. They are happy with our preparations to help them,” said an official aware of the deliberations.

Deputy Inspector General Administration Police Service, Noor Gabow who is leading the Haiti mission led the teams in the visit.

Sources said the visit was part of the preparation for the deployment of the more than 1,000 police officers from Kenya to join a 3,000-strong team to be sent to Port-Au-Prince for the controversial Multinational Mission to Support Security (MSS) the United Nations approved two months ago.

Plans are to dispatch the first team of about 300 officers by February next year, officials said.

The visit came days after a Kenyan team flew to Haiti and held a meeting with local authorities on December 5.

The second delegation from Kenya had an important working meeting with Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry and members of the government, the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.

Accompanied by representatives of the American administration, it also met members of the High Council of the Transition (HCT), namely Mirlande Hyppolite Manigat, Calix Fleuridor and Laurent St Cyr.

The Kenyans also had a long working session with the high command of the Haitian National Police in the capital city.

The visit will be the final step before the first team is dispatched to Haiti, other officials said.

The earliest the team can leave for Haiti is February 2024, officials said.

This is after High Court Judge Chacha Mwita said the deployment of officers to Haiti will be determined on January 26, 2024.

In the case, Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot sued President William Ruto and his administration in a bid to block the peacekeeping mission that will see the deployment of at least 1,000 police officers to the gang-ridden nation.

He argued that Kenya has not ratified any law or treaty to allow the deployment of police officers outside the country.

Parliament approved the deployment of 1,000 police officers to Haiti.

In October, the Cabinet approved the deployment of 1,000 police officers to Haiti, jumping one more legal hurdle in the circuitous approvals needed to have the move get legal backing.

On the first trip in August this year, a dozen senior police officers toured Toussaint Louverture International Airport and neighbouring sites in Port-au-Prince Haiti, in August for an assessment study.

The US is partly funding the MSS to the tune of $200 million if Congress approves.

The US will also provide choppers and vehicles the team will use on the ground.

They will also cater for food and other logistical issues for the troops.

Gangs have taken increasing control of Port-au-Prince since the assassination of the country's president in 2021 threw Haiti into a political crisis.

Thousands of Haitians have fled their homes in the capital, while more than 2,400 others have been killed, according to the latest figures from the UN.

Kenya’s move has been backed by the UN. 

Kenya Police Service has a long history and rich track record in peacekeeping missions and peace support operations to Namibia, Cambodia, former Yugoslavia, UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, East Timor, Croatia, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, and Darfur.

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