Kenya Force To Leave For Haiti On June 25: Govt, Police


Kenya force to leave for Haiti on June 25: govt, police

Nairobi, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Jun, 2024) A Kenyan force will leave for Haiti on June 25 to lead a UN-backed mission to tackle gang violence, despite court challenges against it, government and police sources said Sunday.

Kenya offered to send about 1,000 police to stabilise Haiti alongside personnel from several other countries, but the deployment has run into legal challenges in the East African nation.

President William Ruto has been an enthusiastic backer of the mission and said this month that the deployment would begin within weeks.

"The departure is this week on Tuesday," an interior ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

"Preparations are set for the team to depart for Haiti on Tuesday. We already have two advance teams that left -- one last week and another one yesterday," a senior police official said.

A UN Security Council resolution in October approved the mission but a Kenyan court in January delayed the deployment.

It said the Kenyan government had no authority to send police officers abroad without a prior agreement.

The government secured that agreement on March 1 but a small opposition party in Kenya has filed a fresh lawsuit to try to block it.

Aside from Kenya, other countries that have expressed willingness to join the mission include Benin, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados and Chad.

The United States is providing funding and logistical support, but not boots on the ground in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas.

Global monitor Human Rights Watch has raised concerns about the mission and doubts over its funding.

Rights groups have accused Kenyan police of using excessive force and carrying out unlawful killings.

On Friday, a police watchdog said it was investigating allegations that a 29-year-old man was shot by officers in Nairobi after youth-led demonstrations against proposed tax hikes.

Haiti has long been rocked by gang violence but conditions sharply worsened at the end of February when armed groups launched coordinated attacks in the capital Port-au-Prince, saying they wanted to overthrow then prime minister Ariel Henry.

Henry announced in early March that he would step down and hand over executive power to a transitional council, which named Garry Conille as the country's interim prime minister on May 29.

The violence in Port-au-Prince has affected food security and humanitarian aid access, with much of the city in the hands of gangs accused of abuses including murder, rape, looting and kidnappings.