Amount of Money Kenya Will Spend On Deployment Of Police To Haiti

Kenya will not spend any money on the deployment of police on a peacekeeping mission to Haiti, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said on Sunday.

According to the security minister, the United Nations will cater for the cost of deployment from the contributions of its member states.

Kenya has offered 1,000 police officers to lead the security mission in combating gang violence that has rocked the Caribbean country’s capital Port-au-Prince for over a year. 

And despite concerns from a section of Kenyans, political leaders and security experts, Kindiki said Kenya’s participation in the Haiti peacekeeping mission will not in any way compromise or undermine the police service’s commitment and responsibility to protect citizens and their property.

“The pursuit of bandits, terrorists and other armed criminals will continue, as the Government balances its national and international obligations,” he told faithful at the Kithirune Methodist Church in Meru County.

Critics have additionally pointed out the language difference issue Kenyan troops are faced with, seeing as the main languages used in the Caribbean country are French and Haitian Creole.

“It is a great honour for Kenya not only to be considered to contribute troops to the peacekeeping mission in Haiti but also lead the exercise. We will succeed in Haiti as we have in previous peacekeeping missions,” Kindiki said on Sunday.

Last Monday, the High Court temporarily blocked the deployment of Kenyan police to Haiti or any other country pending the hearing of a petition filed by the Thirdway Alliance Kenya and two others.

The petitioners argue that the constitution does not envisage the deployment of the police service outside Kenya, adding that deployment of police officers or the forces outside Kenya is a matter of great public interest and importance and can only be done in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

“As a matter of international notoriety, there is currently no elected government in Haiti. Kenya does not have an Embassy in Haiti,” reads court papers.

They further argue that there was no public participation prior to Kenya’s request which ought to have come first.

“The petitioners are playing with a sensitive and serious matter of security and behaving in a manner that suggests that they are not accountable to the people of Kenya for their decisions,” they argue.

Delivering the orders, Justice E.C. Mwita directed that the pleadings be served on the respondents immediately. 

“That a conservatory order is hereby issued restraining the respondents from deploying police officers to Haiti or any other country until 24th October 2023,” directed the judge.

Once served, the respondents will have three days to file and serve written submissions to the petition, also not exceeding 10 pages.

The temporary blocking came a week after the United Nations Security Council approved the Kenya-led yearlong multinational security mission.

A dozen other countries including Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda have said they would join the mission to combat a decades-long gang violence characterized by widespread murders, kidnappings and extortion.

Former Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua previously said the Kenyan troops are set to hit the ground in Port-au-Prince “in the coming months”, without specifying when.

Armed gangs have seized control of large tracks of Haiti’s land following intersecting public health, political and economic crises.

The Caribbean country has been plunged into chaos since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 at his private residence in Port-au-Prince.

United Nations figures show that more than 2,400 people have died in violence there since the start of the year.

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