Haiti's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean Victor Généus, declared to have received with great interest the Kenyan proposal, which confirms “the willingness of this sister country to provide effective support to the Haitian forces of order (...) and even consider the possibility of assuming the leadership of a multinational force once the UN Security Council gives its approval.”
Kenya has been the first country to respond concretely to the UN Secretary General's request for the deployment of an international force in Haiti in early July.
The announcement came this Saturday 29th, when Kenyan authorities informed that they were ready to lead a multinational force in Haiti, and deploy 1000 police officers “to help train and assist the Haitian police in restoring normalcy in the country and protect strategic installations.”
They also expressed that this initiative is part of the effort to stand in solidarity with people of African descent around the world and that it aligns with the diaspora policy of the African Union and the pan-African commitment of Kenya. Long before the request of the UN Secretary General, already in October 2022 the government of Haiti had requested help to be able to confront the violence unleashed in the country.
The deployment of the thousand Kenyan police is waiting for the approval of the UN Security Council and some constitutional processes that Kenya must carry out in order to provide police assistance to another country. An assessment mission by a special team of the Kenyan Police of the characteristics of the terrain will also be necessary.
Shortly after the announcement, Haiti's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean Victor Généus, declared to have received with great interest the Kenyan proposal, which confirms “the willingness of this sister country to provide effective support to the Haitian forces of order (...) and even consider the possibility of assuming the leadership of a multinational force once the UN Security Council gives its approval.”
The insecurity situation in the Caribbean country has continued to worsen over the course of this year, despite the alert and warning calls from international organizations and the Haitian government itself, it seems that the world is turning its back on the Caribbean island in the midst of its collapse. Perhaps this is why the Kenyan initiative is received today with some surprise, and maybe it can act as a snowball to awaken the international conscience regarding security in Haiti.
Port-au-Prince is by far the most violent area of the country. The capital is under the control of armed gangs, which has generated many internal displacements. These gangs are taking power in the communities through massacres, rapes, kidnappings and the burning of houses, managing to demobilize any type of citizen confrontation. The truce agreed by the “Bwa Kale” movement has recently been broken and violence has restarted in Port-au-Prince. According to the local press, the Kenyan offer is received with caution by the population:
“If they can help fight gangs, let them come. Any country can come (...) Kenya has its problems. I don’t see how it can help us,” said a resident of Port-au-Prince in an interview with the press.
Kenya is a country 12 times larger than the Dominican Republic and with a population of 56.2 million inhabitants. It has the largest economy in East Africa. Despite this economic potential, the country suffers from high levels of poverty.