Kenyan Police To Arrive Haiti Today, Says US State Department

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The U.S. State Department said on Monday that the first Kenyan police officers assigned to tackle rampant gang violence in Haiti would leave Kenya on Tuesday and are set to arrive this week.

“We hope to see further measurable improvements in security, particularly with respect to access to humanitarian aid and core economic activity,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters.

Recall that the Kenyan government had volunteered in July 2023 to lead an international force to tackle violence in the Caribbean nation, where gangs control most of the capital Port-au-Prince and have carried out widespread killings, kidnappings and sexual violence.

The deployment of the police officers has been repeatedly delayed by court challenges and a deterioration of security in Haiti, which in March forced the acting prime minister to resign.

Four officers, who asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak publicly, said their weapons and personal belongings had been collected Sunday evening to be loaded onto the plane.

Kenya’s government spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Kenyan President William Ruto on Monday held a departure ceremony for 400 officers who will be the first contingent to deploy to Haiti.

“This mission is one of the most urgent, important and historic in the history of global solidarity.

“It is a mission to affirm the universal values of the community of nations, a mission to take a stand for humanity,” Ruto said.

Another group of around 600 officers will join the first contingent later, the four officers said. They said they expected to stop in a third country before reaching Haiti.

In addition to Kenya, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, Chad and Bangladesh have pledged personnel to the 2,500-strong mission, which is being funded primarily by the United States.