Kenya court blocks police deployment to Haiti

Connie Queline

Kenya court blocks police deployment to Haiti

AFP

The Kenyan High Court has blocked the government from deploying police officers to fight gangs in Haiti.

The judge argued that the deployment would be illegal as the National Security Council lacks the legal authority to send police outside Kenya.

He added that the council can only deploy armed forces for peacekeeping missions such as Haiti.

Last year, Kenya had volunteered to lead a multinational security force in Haiti to quell gang violence.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry last year asked the UN to urgently deploy a multinational force.

He said his government had been overwhelmed by gangs who controlled 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The UN Security Council backed Kenya’s offer to lead the force and Kenyan lawmakers went on to approve the deployment.

  • Africa Live: Updates on this and other stories from the continent

Ekuru Aukot, an opposition leader who brought the case, said this was a win for Kenya and that the country could not afford to spare officers before tackling its own security challenges.

Mr Aukot added that President William Ruto was only using the deployment to prop up his international image and seek favour with Western countries like the US.

President Ruto said Kenya has an “impressive record” of participating in peace support missions around the world.

He added that the deployment would enable officers to improve and sharpen their skills and experience in providing security.

Prior to the ruling, a police officer who spoke to the BBC anonymously said that they had already received two months of intensive training.

He added that the courses varied from weapon handling, lessons on international laws and the topography of Haiti.

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