Kenya’s Parliament on Thursday approved the deployment of 1,000 police officers to Haiti as part of a UN-backed mission to address the Caribbean country’s security needs.
This comes after the UN Security Council gave the green light in early October to the Kenyan-led mission to tackle the rampant gang violence that has plunged Haiti into chaos.
“This House approves the deployment of National Police Service officers to the multinational security support mission in Haiti,” Deputy Speaker Gladys Boss Shollei told lawmakers during Thursday’s session.
However, the Kenyan government is barred from deploying police in Haiti. The Nairobi High Court has issued an order blocking the deployment until January 26, when “judgment will be rendered,” according to Judge Enock Mwita.
|Kenya|���� 26 janvier 2024 est la date prévue pour le déploiement des policiers kényans en Haïti ����, afin de freiner le phénomène du banditisme. Cette décision a été prise par la haute cour de justice du Kenya. Cette audience a été présidée par le juge Chacha Mwita, ce jeudi 16… pic.twitter.com/027aKVAoF9
— RTCH NEWS (@rtchhaiti) November 16, 2023
The tweet reads, “January 26, 2024 is the date set for the deployment of Kenyan police officers to Haiti, in order to curb the phenomenon of banditry. The decision was taken by Kenya’s High Court of Justice. The hearing was presided over by Judge Chacha Mwita on Thursday, November 16, 2023.”
During today’s session, lawmakers debated who would fund the deployment and what justifications exist for sending security forces to Haiti.
Some opposition lawmakers expressed their rejection of the government’s plans on the grounds that they violated the country’s constitution. Lawmaker Rozzah Buya argued, “What is the point of taking 1,000 policemen to Haiti when there are Kenyans dying, in need of protection, in need of the service of their policemen?”
According to Gabriel Tongoya, who chairs the parliamentary committee on Administration and Internal Security, all costs of the deployment would be financed by the United Nations.
The UN-backed mission, initially approved for one year, envisages Kenyan police going on the offensive with their Haitian counterparts. Supporters of the motion asserted that Kenya has a moral obligation and duty to help Haiti, ravaged by gang violence that currently controls 80% of the capital.