Kenya ready to intervene in Haiti crisis

July 31, 2023 in Regional

Officials in Kenya say they are ready to lead a multinational force into Haiti as escalating violence between armed gangs and police is fuelling a humanitarian crisis that has displaced tens of thousands of people.

“At the request of Friends of Haiti Group of Nations, Kenya has accepted to positively consider leading a Multi-National Force to Haiti,” Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua said in a statement on Saturday, adding that “Kenya’s commitment is to deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to help train and assist Haitian police restore normalcy in the country and protect strategic installations.”

The Kenya Foreign Minister said his country’s proposed still needs a United Nations Security Council mandate and authorisation from Kenyan authorities.

“An Assessment Mission by a Task Team of the Kenya Police is scheduled within the next few weeks,” Mutua said.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to the Security Council and major potential contribution countries to act fast to create the conditions for the deployment of multinational force to Haiti.

On Thursday the United States issued a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Advisory on Haiti, advising its officials and their families as well as non-essential workers to leave the Caribbean nation as soon as possible on commercial flights.

The advisory also asked other US nationals not to travel to Haiti, adding that if they must travel there, they should register with the “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)…a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate so that we can provide important security and other information to the US citizen community in Haiti.”

In the first quarter of this year, the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commission (OHCHR) reported that “at least 160,000 people have been displaced…531 people were killed, 300 injured and 277 kidnapped in gang-related incidents that took place mainly in the capital, Port-au-Prince, according to information gathered by the Human Rights Service of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti”.

These statistics are from January to March 15, 2023, the report stated.