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Kenya’s Peacekeeping Police to Arrive in Haiti Soon

The Government of Kenya is sending a peacekeeping police force to Haiti to help curb gang violence and restore order in Haiti.

The Government of Kenya, under the leadership of President William Ruto, is dispatching a peacekeeping police force to Haiti to support efforts to curb the growing gang violence, with an expected arrival time of three weeks.

In an exclusive chat with the BBC, President Ruto revealed that a team is already on the ground in Haiti, working with local cops to get everything in place before the Kenyan troops arrive.

President William Ruto’s remarks were made as he wrapped up a three-day official state visit to Washington D.C., marking the first such visit by an African leader to the United States in over 15 years.

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During his visit, the White House issued a statement urging the prompt deployment of the Kenyan-led multinational force, following the tragic killing of three missionaries, including a US couple, in Haiti on Friday.

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“I have a team already in Haiti as I speak to you. That will give us a frame of what things look like on the ground, the capabilities that are available, the infrastructure that has been set up,” Mr. Ruto said.

He added that once they finalize their agreement, they will deploy the troops within three weeks.

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“Once we have that assessment that we agreed with the Haitian police and the Haitian leadership, we are looking at the horizon of between three weeks and there about for us to be ready to deploy, once everything on the ground is set,” he said.

In 2022, the Government of Kenya offered to lead a United Nations-backed multinational security force aimed at restoring stability and order to the Caribbean island of Haiti.

After President Jovenel Moïse was killed in 2021, gangs took over much of Haiti, bringing chaos and destruction to the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

According to Mr. Ruto, the recent chaos in Haiti is exactly why Kenya is getting ready to send in its police force to help calm things down.

“We shouldn’t be losing people. We shouldn’t be losing missionaries,” he said.

The United States is a participating member of the multinational coalition collaborating with Kenya to address the security situation in Haiti.

“The security situation in Haiti cannot wait,” said a National Security Council spokesperson on Friday.

They added that  President Biden has promised to fast-track the deployment of the international team, following talks with President Ruto.

Mr. Ruto announced that the construction of a military base, being built in collaboration with the United States, to house troops and equipment, is approximately “70% complete.”

Things are getting worse by the day in Haiti, with the situation on the ground becoming more and more desperate – so bad that the UN chief called it “a living nightmare” last year.

However, the process of sending armed assistance has been met with delays.

President Ruto emphasized that his government has been careful in its approach, in addressing security concerns through planning for equipment, infrastructure development, and building a collaborative relationship with Haiti’s police force.

Mr. Ruto also said Kenya has an agreement with Haiti’s transitional government, ensuring that Kenyan troops will be seen as peacekeepers, not occupiers.

The council has given assurances that it will honour the deal made by former Prime Minister Ariel Henry with President Ruto.

Mr Henry resigned in March after weeks of mounting pressure and increasing violence in the country.

Haiti is not the only country in crisis taking up Mr Ruto’s attention.

President Ruto mentioned that Kenya has troops serving “in 15 different missions globally” including nearby Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mr. Ruto revealed that he is currently engaged in negotiations with conflicting factions in Sudan, a country where the “level of human suffering is unacceptable.”

When asked if he felt the international community had lost focus on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, Mr Ruto replied:

“Yes, it has. I think what’s happening in Ukraine, what’s happening in the Middle East, has taken some focus off of what’s happening in Sudan and our region,” he said.

The White House on Thursday named Kenya a non-Nato ally, making it the first sub-Saharan African country to receive that designation

The designation of Kenya as a major non-NATO ally is expected to facilitate enhanced security cooperation with the United States and provide Kenya with access to more advanced American weaponry.

The US and Kenya are getting closer, but Western influence in Africa is slipping, with Russia and China becoming more popular, according to recent polls.

When asked again if the US was a preferred ally, he said “It’s not a question of people trying to say whether we are facing west or facing east. We are facing forward.”

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