Kenya: William Ruto appoints new chief of defense forces

Kenya: William Ruto announces the sending of 1,000 police officers to Haiti

Kenyan President William Ruto has announced the sending of 1,000 police officers to Haiti in the next two weeks. This mission, validated by the UN, aims to support the Haitian police in the face of violent gangs. However, the operation has sparked criticism and legal action in Kenya.

On Sunday June 9, the President of Kenya, William Ruto, confirmed the imminent deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti. “Next week or the next,” these law enforcement officers will arrive in the Caribbean country to support the Haitian police in their fight against gangs that terrorize the local population. This deployment is part of a mission approved by the United Nations Security Council in October 2023.

In Haiti, violent gangs have taken control of many urban areas, plunging the country into a spiral of violence and crime. The arrival of Kenyan police officers is therefore seen as an emergency measure to restore a semblance of security and stability. Other countries, such as Benin, the Bahamas and Chad, are also expected to contribute to this international mission.

However, this operation is far from unanimous in Kenya. It sparked strong criticism and was the subject of several legal challenges. A Kenyan opposition party filed a new appeal in mid-May deeming the operation “unconstitutional, illegal and invalid” and accusing the government of “contempt of court”. The High Court of Kenya is due to examine this case on June 12, making it uncertain whether the dispatch of the police will materialize.

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed its concerns about human rights during this mission. The organization also expressed doubts about the financing of the operation. So far, the “trust fund” intended to finance this mission has raised $21 million, a sum far short of the estimated $600 million needed.