Only officers from formation units in the National Police Service will be deployed to Haiti to combat gang violence that has wracked 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.
This is likely to happen in two months time. Top police officers departed for Haiti on an assessment mission ahead of the planned deployment of 1,000 Kenya police officers.
Kenya will lead an international police force aimed for the mission to begin probably in a month.
Deputy Inspector General of Administration Police Noor Gabow led a team of ten senior officers on an assessment mission.
They will be in Haiti for five days to assess the situation before a decision is made on the way forward.
The team left on Wednesday night and is expected back after two weeks, sources said adding president William Ruto had ordered their departure.
This international police force would not be a U.N. force. So if deployed, Kenyan police would be in charge rather than answer to a U.N. force commander as they would be required to do in a U.N. peacekeeping mission.
Other regional countries have pledged to send their police officers to make it 2,000 strong force.
Haiti’s prime minister Ariel Henry said on August 7 that he spoke with Ruto to thank Kenya for the “demonstration of fraternal solidarity.”
Henry said Kenya plans to send a task force in the coming weeks to assess the mission’s operational requirements. Haiti welcomed ”with great interest” Kenya’s offer to lead a multinational force to restore order.
Haiti Foreign Minister Jean Victor Geneus said he appreciated the expression of African solidarity. The Caribbean nation is suffering from a surge in gang violence and is in a deep security, political and humanitarian crisis.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua said a quick fix to Haiti’s problems would not be possible, but the mission would aim to stabilize the situation and train a proper Haitian police force.
The team to be deployed will man airports, ports and police training camps.
Mutua said the people of Haiti had suffered enough, and Kenya felt a responsibility to help its brothers and sisters in the African diaspora.
Kenya has committed to deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to help train and assist Haitian police to restore normalcy in the country and protect strategic installations
Mutua said Kenya’s commitment is to deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to help train and assist Haitian police to restore normalcy in the country and protect strategic installations.
“Kenya stands with persons of African descent across the world, including those in the Caribbean, and aligns with the African Union’s diaspora policy and our own commitment to Pan Africanism, and in this case to “reclaiming of the Atlantic crossing.”
“Kenya’s proposed deployment will crystalize once a mandate from the UN Security Council is obtained and other Kenyan constitutional processes are undertaken,” he said.
After Henry urged the world in October to deploy an armed force to fight the gangs, the United Nations has struggled to convince a nation to lead efforts to restore the order in the Caribbean country, in part due to past controversy over peacekeeping missions. There’s been little appetite for a U.S.- or U.N.-led force, and the United States unsuccessfully tried to persuade Canada to lead a force.
As the search continued, gang warfare continued to worsen, leading to a wave of hundreds of kidnappings and the emergence of vigilantes taking justice into their own hands.
Today, armed groups control an estimated 80 percent of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. This week, the United States said it will put forward a resolution to the UN Security Council to authorize the force.
“This is not a traditional peacekeeping force,” the U.S. ambassador at the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said at a news conference.
Haitians saw rounds of foreign interventions throughout the 1900s, often a response by nations like the U.S. to political instability in Haiti.
In some cases, such missions helped ease chaos and in the 1990s led to the creation of the Haitian National Police. But successes are often overshadowed by scars that Haitians carry with them from abuses that came with those missions.
A U.N. peacekeeping mission from 2004 to 2017 was plagued with allegations of mass sexual abuse, including claims that peacekeepers raped and impregnated girls as young as 11.
In 2010, sewage runoff from a U.N. peacekeeper camp into the country’s biggest river started a cholera epidemic that killed nearly 10,000 people.