Haiti: Kenya will send police officers when the “presidential transition council” is established

Kenyan President William Ruto said Wednesday March 13 that he had assured the United States that the deployment of police officers in Haiti, planned as part of an international mission led by Nairobi, will take place when a presidential transition council has been established in place on the island

Haiti: Kenya will send police officers when the “presidential transition council” is established

Kenyan President William Ruto said Wednesday March 13 that he had assured the United States that the deployment of police officers in Haiti, planned as part of an international mission led by Nairobi, will take place when a presidential transition council has been established in place on the island. Kenya announced on Tuesday that it was suspending this dispatch of police officers, the day after the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry. The United States reacted immediately, saying it saw no reason to delay this mission.

William Ruto said on Wednesday that he had discussed the latest developments with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and underlined Kenya's commitment to carrying out this UN-backed mission in the poor Caribbean country hit by a security, political and humanitarian crisis. Mr. Blinken “informed me that a new presidential council will be formed shortly to manage the situation in Haiti,” Mr. Ruto said on social media: “I assured Mr. Blinken that Kenya will take the lead leadership [of the international mission] as soon as the presidential council is in place. »

Political parties and personalities in Haiti are trying to agree on the composition of transitional authorities in an attempt to restore a semblance of stability in the country, undermined by gangs. Ariel Henry, appointed a few days before the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, was strongly contested in recent months. He was pushed out under pressure from the gangs. Monday, during an emergency meeting with Haitian representatives in Jamaica, the Caribbean Community (Caricom), the UN and several countries such as the United States and France tasked Haitian formations with setting up a “ presidential transition council”.

In Kenya, the deployment of a thousand police officers to Haiti encountered numerous legal obstacles. William Ruto and Ariel Henry, however, signed an agreement on March 1 in Nairobi to send Kenyan police officers. The UN gave the green light in October to this force, also supported by the United States. At the end of February, five countries, including Benin with more than 1,500 troops, notified the UN of their participation in the future mission. The other members of this mission are the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados and Chad, according to the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Stéphane Dujarric.