Kenya parliament approves deployment of police to Haiti to help deal with gang violence

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) —

The Kenyan parliament on Thursday approved the deployment of 1000 police officers to Haiti to help deal with rising gang violence in the Caribbean nation.

The national assembly backed a motion tabled by parliament’s Committee on Administration and Internal Security approving the government request for sending the security officers as violence escalated in Haiti.

The heated debate saw opposition legislators rejecting the government plans for Kenya to lead a multinational policing team in Haiti, saying it violated the country’s constitution. Supporters of the motion said Kenya had a moral obligation and duty to aid Haiti.

The planned deployment was blocked by the High Court in Nairobi in October. On Thursday, the court was due to rule on a case by former presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot who said the mission, backed by the United Nations, “was a mistake and a suicide mission.”

Burundi, Chad, Senegal, Jamaica and Belize have all pledged troops for the multinational mission which could cost Kenya more than $230 Million.

Violence has escalated in Haiti as a heavily-armed gang surrounded a hospital in the capital Port-au-prince Wednesday, trapping patients who included 40 children and newborns. Police later rescued the people.

Gangs across Haiti have continued to grow more powerful since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, and the number of kidnappings and killings keeps rising.

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