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Kenyan Police Gear Up for Crucial Mission to Stabilize Haiti Amid Gang Violence

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Mbeki edmond

May 17, 2024

Kenyan police officers are poised to arrive in Port-au-Prince as part of the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission

The contingent includes officers from Kenya’s Recce Squad, Rapid Deployment Force, and Special Operations Group, experienced in combatting insurgents. Half will secure critical installations, while the rest engage gangs controlling over 80% of Port-au-Prince. Preparatory training in the US last year equipped them for the mission.
Riot policemen walk back during clashes with protesters in the Kibera area of Nairobi, Kenya, on 19 July 2023

Kenyan police officers are poised to arrive in Port-au-Prince as part of the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission, aiming to stabilize Haiti amid gang violence and a humanitarian crisis. This deployment follows the UN Security Council's adoption of the mission in October 2023, after Haiti's appeal for international assistance.


Kenya’s parliament and cabinet approved the deployment of 1,000 officers in November 2023. However, judicial opposition and the resignation of Haiti's acting prime minister, Ariel Henry, delayed the mission. A bilateral agreement on March 1, 2024, facilitated the deployment, with the first 200 officers expected to arrive on May 23/24, coinciding with a state visit by the Kenyan president to the United States.


The contingent includes officers from Kenya’s Recce Squad, Rapid Deployment Force, and Special Operations Group, experienced in combatting insurgents. Half will secure critical installations, while the rest engage gangs controlling over 80% of Port-au-Prince.


Preparatory training in the US last year equipped them for the mission.

Initial opposition in Kenya, branding the deployment as a 'multilateral invasion,' has softened. Political figures, including opposition leader Raila Odinga, have mellowed their stance, viewing the mission as a noble cause. Kenya leads a multinational effort, with other African and non-African countries pledging support.


Kenyan police's history of corruption and human rights violations remains a concern. Pre-deployment training emphasized adherence to Haitian laws and human rights, with strict consequences for breaches. Ensuring human rights compliance and transparent operations is crucial for the mission's success.


The terms of engagement between Kenyan and Haitian forces, and the mission's duration, remain unclear. Clear communication and cooperation between local authorities, Haitian police, and international forces are essential to address operational uncertainties and meet the high expectations of Haitian society.

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